Imagine If You Wrote Copy For Steve Jobs...

23 replies
With the preponderance of junk and wannabe entrepreneurs out there hiring copywriters to sell their worthless nonsense, getting those gigs where the product is unlike anything else available makes most pros salivate...

Just imagine if you were hired to write for the late Steve Job and Apple...

...How would you sell the iPad?
#copy #imagine #jobs #steve #wrote
  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    Originally Posted by Reflection Marketing View Post

    With the preponderance of junk and wannabe entrepreneurs out there hiring copywriters to sell their worthless nonsense, getting those gigs where the product is unlike anything else available makes most pros salivate...

    Just imagine if you were hired to write for the late Steve Job and Apple...

    ...How would you sell the iPad?
    Since the iPad has been such a smashing success, the question "How would you sell the iPad" is a fairly worthless exercise.

    A better question is, "Why has the iPad been so successful?" That's where the lessons can be learned.

    Alex
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4822441].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
      Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

      Since the iPad has been such a smashing success, the question "How would you sell the iPad" is a fairly worthless exercise.

      A better question is, "Why has the iPad been so successful?" That's where the lessons can be learned.

      Alex
      So why has it been successful?
      Signature

      Do You Want To Make 5 and 6-Figures A Month As A Freelance Copywriter? My Copywriting System Has Made Over 600 Million Dollars. Discover More

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4822626].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Steve Hill
        Originally Posted by Mark Pescetti View Post

        So why has it been successful?
        As some might recall, Apple hasn't always been so successful. Remember the Lisa? The Newton? The hockey puck mouse? This article discusses some of the lessons of the past:

        Rotten Apple: Apple's 12 biggest failures | The Industry Standard - InfoWorld

        Still, it would have been nice to have bought 1,000 shares of stock when Apple was hovering near bankruptcy and shares were about $2 each. (They are about $626 now.) There is no denying the current level of success.

        And why has Apple been so successful? There are many good reasons, including some already mentioned in this thread:

        1) Steve Jobs was obsessed with detail - right down to the packaging. The iPhone box and packing is the epitome of elegant simplicity, for example, and he personally approved every detail of it.

        2) Simplicity and elegance in function - in a world where cell phones and electronic devices often feature horrendously complex, convoluted menus and buttons, the Apple interfaces are intuitive and well-designed. They (usually) just work well, freeing users from needless complexity.

        3) Simplicity and elegance in design - form follows function, but why not make it as cool as possible? Tangerine computers with a carry handle on top, when everybody else was making boring boxy corporate drone PCs? Why not? It will be interesting to see what they do with the Corning's new flexible willow glass, and being Apple, we'd expect them to do something cool.

        3) Visionary planning - rather than always modifying existing products, Apple strives for entirely new ideas, playing "what if." What if we removed floppy drives? What if we could buy songs one at a time? What if we delivered television programming through the internet? What if we untethered everybody from wires?

        4) Iconic branding - Apple's cult-like following speaks for itself, but it can also work against them. The "be different" attitude works great for the coffee house crowd, but it's a tougher sell to the corporate crowd. It's still an enviable customer loyalty base, though, willing to line up in the middle of the night to order something new.

        5) And as Rick mentioned, the famous Jobs reality distortion field, which had good points and bad points. Jobs was able to make Apple employees and engineers think in new, different, visionary ways, but that same thinking could lead business partners into feeling that they were mislead.

        Adding it all up, the Apple products of today include attention to detail, function, and design, combined with visionary product planning and a cult-like following. They fill needs people never knew they had, thanks to that visionary thinking and creative marketing. The iPad follows on the success of the revolutionary (at the time) iPhone, and as any trip to Best Buy can demonstrate, it just works really well compared to the other tablet computers on display, many of which are showing error messages or have crashed.

        Having observed Apple for decades, my takeaway for copywriting and business is that Apple is a company that pays attention to the complete user experience, and all that it encompasses. I can't think of a single successful, high-end business that doesn't.
        Signature
        Learn more - earn more: Books for Copywriters
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6787597].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    The genius of Steve Jobs marketing is that he was
    able to convince people to buy stuff that they didn't even
    know that they wanted. That is about the toughest type
    of marketing to do--to introduce a new product and
    convince people that they really need it.

    I think that Steve made all his products ROMANTIC. He
    paid attention to not only their function but their design.

    Look at how many other companies have copied the
    design of apple products.

    There was always a STORY associated with each product
    and the product became secondary to the story.

    It's always easy for a marketer to ride a crest in human
    desire but to create a desire and sell to that desire
    is where the challenge is and Steve has shown how
    to do this in style.

    -Ray Edwards
    Signature
    The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4823176].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
      Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

      The genius of Steve Jobs marketing is that he was
      able to convince people to buy stuff that they didn't even
      know that they wanted. That is about the toughest type
      of marketing to do--to introduce a new product and
      convince people that they really need it.

      I think that Steve made all his products ROMANTIC. He
      paid attention to not only their function but their design.

      Look at how many other companies have copied the
      design of apple products.

      There was always a STORY associated with each product
      and the product became secondary to the story.

      It's always easy for a marketer to ride a crest in human
      desire but to create a desire and sell to that desire
      is where the challenge is and Steve has shown how
      to do this in style.

      -Ray Edwards
      Absolutely.. and not only that, Steve made the iPhone and iPad pop culture status symbols.

      I spend a lot of time writing in coffeehouses and it never ceases to amaze me that I'm often the only person using a PC, rather than an Apple or iPad.

      The entire Droid market has been playing catch up from day one.

      Not a single phone company has captured the imagination of people as much as Apple did with the iPhone.

      By the way...

      Do you want copy that sells?

      There's an app for that!
      Signature

      Do You Want To Make 5 and 6-Figures A Month As A Freelance Copywriter? My Copywriting System Has Made Over 600 Million Dollars. Discover More

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4823250].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
        The success of the iPhone and iPod Touch is what brought about the iPad. People were clamoring for familiar apps on a bigger screen, but developers generally don't do a Windows desktop version. So it made sense to make an oversized iPod Touch.

        Steve Jobs left Apple with a 5 year plan, but it was based on his prediction that desktops are headed towards irrelevancy and mobile is going to take over. Microsoft believes this to be wrong and the cross platform Windows 8 may very well cause Apple to have to abandon Jobs' plan.


        Originally Posted by Mark Pescetti View Post

        The entire Droid market has been playing catch up from day one.
        The iPhone has just a 17% market share. Android holds a strong 68% (Google's Android smartphone market share quadruples Apple's iOS - Aug. 8, 2012).

        Apple's products are near the top when they first come out, but because of their slim product line they lose their luster in the final year prior to a new release. The iPhone4 for instance looks so much older than Samsung and HTC's current offerings. The iPhone5 release will have a minimal effect on Apple's market share since buyers are likely to be existing Apple customers.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6784501].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author sanjaypande
      There is a LOT that Steve Jobs did behind the scene and both his love of design and perfectionist attitude helped Apple.

      He took many "risky" decisions that paid off very well.

      When they ditched their underlying OS which had been running for over a decade and went with BSD under the hood - that was the first risk.

      Would you DARE to alienate your existing customer base because you know you can do something better? He did it. They got rid of MacOS after 9 and version X was BSD (An open source unix variant).

      This attracted the entire hacker (programmer not cracker) community and they have a lot of influence over what happens - even though it's indirect.

      Later they dumped PowerPC for Intel. I remember being infuriated about the decision. But, it made sense and he did it just because it made the product better - even if the customers are unhappy about it.

      When everyone was selling music players - he was selling 2000 songs in your pocket and ... they sell the songs as singles cheaper than a CD.

      iPhone, iPad ... not new ... but they all have fantastic back-ends in the App, Music and Book stores.

      He was a visionary and will be missed.

      He was so excited when he saw the mouse and GUI interface at PARC that he ran out of there to get it implemented. If he had stopped and seen Smalltalk - the programming world would be completely different today and the Java programming language (which is the MS Windows of the programming world) probably would not have existed.

      Today, MSFT has a market cap of $220B and AAPL has a market cap of $377B (from near bankruptcy) - they're probably doing something right.

      Most former Linux users have switched to the Mac and are quite happy with it.

      Apple buyers are repeat buyers and they are also influencers - they usually would get their friends and family to buy Apple too. Creating raving fans does have it's benefits.
      Signature

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4823338].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JimBetrue
    I don't think that he convinced people to buy stuff they didn't know they wanted.

    I think he had an incredible ability to predict what people already wanted before they knew they wanted it. That way convincing was not necessary.

    To do this, he had to be very in tune with what the next step was for society without making it too big a step for people to take en masse. I have no idea how he did this, but I marvel at how he was able to do it consistently.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4823347].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author John_S
    Apple competitor misjudgements (many times about Apple success) is one major reason Apple is successful.

    It’s almost as if everyone else seems to be only capable of thinking in terms of raw features, rather than how those features are implemented. … It took Apple to see that the interface needs to be re invented for the touch screen rather than trying to meld two existing functionalities together. Electronics firms are not going to respond to the iPhone, because in their eyes, the iPhone couldn’t possibly be a success. Just like when the iPod was released, they will sit back absolutely convinced that device will to fail to capture the market.
    — Reaction to the iPhone reveals how the electronics industry failed to beat the iPod.
    Keep in mind every Apple product launch had been greeted as dead on arrival -- a failure.

    Apple is competing against electronics firms. Computer companies that just happen to make a computer you can make a phone call with.

    You go into a market where everyone is building little bitty computers for running MP3 sound files. And you introduce a way for people to manage their music collection. ...then you eat everyone's lunch.

    Nobody is predicting what customers want here. Just taking a look at the industry and saying what the heck are these guys doing?! All Apple is doing is what everyone else said their product did, five or ten years ago, except it didn't. Apple is getting to market with what people thought they were buying from the competition, years ago, but never got.

    Apple never invents ...anything. The scroll wheel? Not Apple -- Synaptics invented it. Just about everything else? Xerox PARC invented it.

    Apple takes inventions and makes a coherent product out of it. There's a vision to an Apple product and a clear idea of the customer. Competitors try for anybody and everybody, at any time, who could be doing who knows what.

    Apple tries to get closer to the customer and anticipate what the market is fed up with. (That's where the market will be). They do not do this by listening slavishly to what customers say about the current state of computing. Just FYI, customers don't know what technology could do, but isn't doing.

    Everybody else treats customers like the CEO of a technology company. Customers could care less how hard it is to make something. They don't care what the accountants, or the product managers, or the manufacturing managers are bitching about.

    Apple pays attention to what customers are bitching about.

    Ask Apple CEO Steve Jobs about it, and he'll tell you an instructive little story. Call it the Parable of the Concept Car. "Here's what you find at a lot of companies," he says, kicking back in a conference room at Apple's gleaming white Silicon Valley headquarters, which looks something like a cross between an Ivy League university and an iPod. "You know how you see a show car, and it's really cool, and then four years later you see the production car, and it sucks? And you go, What happened? They had it! They had it in the palm of their hands! They grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory!

    "What happened was, the designers came up with this really great idea. Then they take it to the engineers, and the engineers go, 'Nah, we can't do that. That's impossible.' And so it gets a lot worse. Then they take it to the manufacturing people, and they go, 'We can't build that!' And it gets a lot worse."

    When Jobs took up his present position at Apple in 1997, that's the situation he found. He and Jonathan Ive, head of design, came up with the original iMac, a candy-colored computer merged with a cathode-ray tube that, at the time, looked like nothing anybody had seen outside of a Jetsons cartoon. "Sure enough," Jobs recalls, "when we took it to the engineers, they said, 'Oh.' And they came up with 38 reasons. And I said, 'No, no, we're doing this.' And they said, 'Well, why?' And I said, 'Because I'm the CEO, and I think it can be done.' And so they kind of begrudgingly did it. But then it was a big hit."
    -- How Apple Does It
    These are people who have seen Star Trek, Star Wars, and so on. They know what they want, they see it all the time. They get promised they will get it in commercials. They see it promised at car shows. Nobody wants to sell it to them.

    I'm stretching, but in a way, Apple does what I often suggest. Do your research. Write the best sales letter you can possibly write. Then use the sales letter as the product blueprint.

    Guess what -- Your 38 DVD $897 course? I don't want 38 DVDS. I want the three actionable nuggets buried on DVDs 8 and 16 and 22. So give me a ****** cross reference index so I can find what I am looking for in under a minute!

    What Apple does in music or phones or computers could apply to IM or Web Design.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4823378].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Studio13
    Creative controls for the marketing department of Fortune 500 company like Apple -- dream come true, eh?

    I view Apple as an Icon, a Brand that's been immortalized like Coca-Cola or Pepsi.

    With the cult-like following and wide spectrum influence that Apple has, you really take on the role not as a marketer, but a social engineer. People's wants and desires can be formed and molded at that stage of the game. Your likely to be working with a handful three letter groups (CIA, NSA, etc) and Hollywood in a hush-hush behind closed doors way in terms of what technology you're allowed to bring into the mainstream and at what time, all according to a globally orchestrated script. Although, as the chief marketer you may or may not be aware of that fact. =P

    Imagine that...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4823658].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Centurian
      Excellent points Word Man. Icons make their own rules.

      Originally Posted by Studio13 View Post

      Creative controls for the marketing department of Fortune 500 company like Apple -- dream come true, eh?

      I view Apple as an Icon, a Brand that's been immortalized like Coca-Cola or Pepsi.

      With the cult-like following and wide spectrum influence that Apple has, you really take on the role not as a marketer, but a social engineer. People's wants and desires can be formed and molded at that stage of the game. Your likely to be working with a handful three letter groups (CIA, NSA, etc) and Hollywood in a hush-hush behind closed doors way in terms of what technology you're allowed to bring into the mainstream and at what time, all according to a globally orchestrated script. Although, as the chief marketer you may or may not be aware of that fact. =P

      Imagine that...
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4831593].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
      Originally Posted by Studio13 View Post

      Creative controls for the marketing department of Fortune 500 company like Apple -- dream come true, eh?

      I view Apple as an Icon, a Brand that's been immortalized like Coca-Cola or Pepsi.

      With the cult-like following and wide spectrum influence that Apple has, you really take on the role not as a marketer, but a social engineer. People's wants and desires can be formed and molded at that stage of the game. Your likely to be working with a handful three letter groups (CIA, NSA, etc) and Hollywood in a hush-hush behind closed doors way in terms of what technology you're allowed to bring into the mainstream and at what time, all according to a globally orchestrated script. Although, as the chief marketer you may or may not be aware of that fact. =P

      Imagine that...
      Which BEGS the question: Why don't more copywriters spend time on cultivating a brand identity for their clients?
      Signature

      Do You Want To Make 5 and 6-Figures A Month As A Freelance Copywriter? My Copywriting System Has Made Over 600 Million Dollars. Discover More

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4833685].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
        Originally Posted by Mark Pescetti View Post

        Which BEGS the question: Why don't more copywriters spend time on cultivating a brand identity for their clients?
        It depends on what the client wants. If you are working for a small entrepreneur, he wants sales now. He is not concerned about branding too much.

        I think the bigger a company gets, branding becomes more important to them.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6783660].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
        Originally Posted by Mark Pescetti View Post

        Which BEGS the question: Why don't more copywriters spend time on cultivating a brand identity for their clients?
        "Some guy" on a forum doing freelance copywriting.... well.... you know. There are varying levels of talent in every industry. You can't look at the low budget copywriters that hang around the forums and ask why they aren't doing what the big branding firms can do.

        If you need someone to write "Top secret system acts as AUTOMATED MONEY MACHINE!" ok, fine. You don't have to look far. If you need an Apple-like campaign for $97, dream on.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6784533].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
          Originally Posted by DubDubDubDot View Post

          "Some guy" on a forum doing freelance copywriting.... well.... you know. There are varying levels of talent in every industry. You can't look at the low budget copywriters that hang around the forums and ask why they aren't doing what the big branding firms can do.

          If you need someone to write "Top secret system acts as AUTOMATED MONEY MACHINE!" ok, fine. You don't have to look far. If you need an Apple-like campaign for $97, dream on.
          $97? Don't get me started.

          You're simply wrong.

          Brand isn't exclusively a big corporation game.

          Not at all.

          And if small businesses want their companies to grow and gain massive amounts of exposure, they need to create and nurture their brand image along the way.

          NOT doing this is one of the biggest reasons why small businesses fail.

          If nothing else...

          Brand reveals how well you know your market.

          After all...

          If your main marketing message fails to resonate, you're not demonstrating that you know your own business well enough to clearly communicate how you benefit your target audience - copy-wise and/or visually speaking.

          I have a client that I've been working with for a couple of years now.

          The owner wants his brand name to be something people search for.

          Yet...

          He's harbored a lot of resistance to take the steps that really bring his brand to life and become a major competitor in the marketplace.

          We cut a lot of corners to get his brand up to par, but it's coming together deliciously.

          And for the first time since his company has been in business, he's positioning his brand to become a major force, rather than just a generic looking knockoff.

          Besides...

          Any time you can say less and convey way more, why not do it?

          That what branding ultimately accomplishes.

          That being said...

          Some websites/businesses don't need branding.

          There's no point.

          Because they have no interest in growing their company for the long-term.

          Like a WSO.

          That's besides the point.

          No...

          Branding isn't reserved for the just the bigger companies.

          Change your thinking.

          Mark
          Signature

          Do You Want To Make 5 and 6-Figures A Month As A Freelance Copywriter? My Copywriting System Has Made Over 600 Million Dollars. Discover More

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6788182].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
            Originally Posted by Mark Pescetti View Post

            Branding isn't reserved for the just the bigger companies.

            Change your thinking.

            Mark
            I agree with Mark. Here's a guy who did it--all by himself. Overnight.

            "What You Can Learn About Branding From Project Runway"

            http://www.entrepreneur.com/blog/224170

            It would be easy to think his was just "dumb luck." But it isn't. The telltale signs are evident.

            - Rick Duris
            Signature
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6788449].message }}
  • So often we talk about a "starving crowd." I just read this Amazon summary of "Steve Jobs -Ten Lessons in Leadership"- Lesson 2- "The Details Don't Matte...At First." It talks about Jobs first wanted to find out what people were starving for:

    In January 2012, Bob Borchers - a former iPhone product marketing engineer for Apple - revealed that which was not widely known about Steve Jobs. The Apple chief's original challenge to the team was not to design a cutting edge smartphone with myriad bells and whistles. Jobs wanted his team to create a device that consumers - once in possession of it - could never imagine a time in which they no longer owned one.

    "What's interesting is that the challenge Steve laid out for us when we created the iPhone wasn't to make a touch-screen device that would play apps and do all of this stuff," Borchers revealed. "His [charge] was simple. He wanted to create the first phone that people would fall in love with. That's what he told us."

    As difficult as it may be to fathom today, Steve Jobs said nothing of apps, GPS, video or photography, or voice integration when he spoke of the first iPhone. The only specifics Jobs outlined were that the device must be the best iPod produced to date and also something that enables users to carry ‘the internet in their pocket.’

    "Now if you're an engineer, like I am by training, you're like 'what the heck does that mean?'" Borchers reflects. "But he was right. The idea was that he wanted to create something that was so instrumental and integrated in peoples' lives that you'd rather leave your wallet at home than your iPhone."
    Signature
    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6781617].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jason1234
    Just my opinion but the real power of Apple was in the message they surrounded their products with "If you think different or are different this is your solution".
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6788321].message }}
  • Back in the day I was doing some consulting with some Apple retailers when a guy showed me the NeXT computer which was brand new.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NeXT_Computer

    It blew me away. The quality was fantastic. I remember reading how Jobs would insist the parts inside (that no one would ever see) were finished off and painted perfectly.

    It was the first time I ever saw a computer that would let you record your voice and send the audio in an email. Cool. (Hey, grandpa, tell us about Lotus 123 again....)
    Signature
    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6788433].message }}

Trending Topics