I helped make Steve Jobs wealthy by purchasing Apple products. He helped make me happy, hip and productive.
We got our first Apple computer in early 80s. It was rectangular, and it was slow by today’s standards — but it was cool. And if you owned an ad agency, you had to be cool.
Besides, an Apple was easy to use. Just point and click. PCs intimidated me. I thought you had to know math to use them, or some kind of code. What does F3 mean anyway?
Until we got the Apple, I typed my first scripts for commercials on an IBM Selectric typewriter I got free when I bought a pair of flights on Eastern Airlines (remember them?).
Where did we buy Apple products? Computerland of course — another brand that didn’t make it into the new millennium.
From the start, Apple had that rarest of mixes in the business world — great products as well as great marketing. From the very first TV commercial (the futuristic “1984” — which aired only once) to the iPod spots that shook up the music industry, they were always one step ahead.
Apple’s mid-years featured campaigns with Beatles tracks, iconic posters of John Lennon and Yoko Ono and the tag line/rallying call, “THINK DIFFERENT.” Buying an Apple or Mac product was a statement of individuality, but the products worked so well that they became mainstream.
Steve Jobs was as picky about the way his products looked as he was about their performance. But that’s one reason they were, and are, so popular.
iBRANDING IS INGENIOUS
How often were we told that “line extension” was the kiss of death for a company? Apple proved that wrong. Like most things, if you do it right, it will work — and work well.
Jobs went after the lucrative music industry with the iPod — and later, the iTunes store. At the time the Sony Walkman portable CD player was the top dog in the personal entertainment business.
Not content with conquering the music market, Apple went after the gigantic cellular telephone market with the iPhone. Boom, bam…it was another Grand Slam.
Add on the iPad and you have the final touches from the company that passed up Microsoft to become the largest US company in terms of sales. And of course, you’ve probably heard that Apple has more cash on hand than the federal government.
UBER-BRAND APPLE IS UNIQUELY AMERICAN
We can only hope that Apple’s products and branding continue to succeed in dazzling and attracting consumers all over the world now, after the passing of Steve Jobs. Maybe it sounds cheesy, but I’m glad that the products the world wants were born right here in the USA.
A NOTE ABOUT APPLE’S LOGOS
First Apple Logo: 1976
The first Apple logo was designed in 1976 by Ronald Wayne, sometimes referred to as the “third co-founder” of Apple.
The Rainbow Logo: 1976-1998
A year later, Steve Jobs commissioned graphic designer Rob Janoff to come up with something better, and that design became one of the most recognizable corporate logos in history.
Current Logo: 1998-present
The multi-colored Apple logo was axed by Steve Jobs less than a year after his return to Apple in 1997. In its place was a new logo with a more modern, monochromatic look