Information products are becoming more and more difficult to distinguish from one another as they all seem to offer the same sort of things.
However Apple stands out, and makes some really, really awesome products by following some very important but, simple principles. Here’s how you can apply these principles to your products.
Ok, Simplicity. Albert Einstein said make things as simple as possible but no simpler. It can be a tricky line but here’s the thing with Apple products, there always so easy to use. You can just figure it out. Now, if you’re a Windows user and you’re use to all the complex stuff, then you switch over to Apple and it can be a little confusing, but once you start thinking about, hmmmm, how would I actually do this there very simple and intuitive to use. The user ability of your product or service, whatever it is, is critical. Critical!
Now delight people should be delighted by your thing. They should look at it and go, “oh my god that’s really awesome. That’s way cool!” Like most people are when they look at an iPad or an iPhone and most of these Apple devices, if you actually use it and not just own it. “All I use is Windows -Apples suck.” That’s not really an informed perspective. When you use it and you actually give it a shot; you’re going to be like whoa that’s kind of amazing. This is pretty cool. Even the packaging is cool. When you buy stuff from Apple, like the iPhone, it comes in like this Neiman Marcus quality box.
But what really contributes to that, you want to pay attention to all those details because that’s what Apple does. Pay attention to every single little detail and anticipate what the customer actually wants. Not just; I want this feature in there. What does the customer want – and pursue that excellence look follow all those details; all to be the best because everything matters. People notice. Don’t release a product that’s mostly finished because you know what there going to be mostly, “Aaaaa that’s kind of buggy dude.” That’s not the perception that you want people to have on your product.
The next one is elimination. We’re talking about getting rid of the fluff. Get rid of the crap. Look at your product or service very closely and say, ok what don’t I really need? What am I doing that’s just fluff, that’s just filler? And get rid of all of it, ok? You got to be brutally honest with yourself. That’s crucial. Just get rid of anything that doesn’t work.
Suspense. It’s one thing that Apple does fantastically well that other brands seem to fail at. Does anyone know or even care about what HP is bringing out next? Didn’t think so. But everyone is always speculating how this year’s iPhone is going to differ from the last model, or what changes may come with the new iPad.
Apple has a great way of keeping any information about their products a complete secret. Keeping the specs of their new products a secret helps build up the anticipation and excitement for its release. People these days are just dying to have the newest and greatest thing, and not knowing what’s coming up next drives them crazy.
The brand is also quite good at building up suspense by creating a sense of scarcity. There’s not enough new iPhones for everyone all at once, meaning that only a select few will be able to have the brand new phone the very same day it’s released. Everyone else will have to wait a week, a month, or maybe even longer for their own – at which point Apple is already creating suspense over another new product that’s coming out.
This suspense is also what draws a crowd to those electronic stores and has people camping overnight, just so that they can have a chance of being one of the first coveted few to have the newest “it” product. Crowds and line ups imply that what ever is being sold must be good; otherwise why would so many people be waiting for it?
Apple has some of the most memorable and clever marketing campaigns out there. Where they really excel is creating advertisements where they compare themselves to the competition. For example, Apple has created a whole line of ads in which it points out the difference between a MAC computer and a PC. The ads are incredibly simple in appearance and in their message, but because they are so simple, a viewer is able to immediately understand what’s going on. Thanks to such advertisements, almost anyone can tell you just why a PC is very different from a MAC computer.
MAC isn’t afraid to use actors in their campaigns either, but they have never used big, flashy actors. Justin Long is currently the “pro MAC” guy in a lot of the ads where they compare MAC computes to a PC. The “pro PC” actor is John Hodgman, an even less notable actor. Using actors that aren’t easily recognized or very established in the acting world can arguably present less of a bias towards the actor, and therefore the product. So let’s say Charlie Sheen was the “pro MAC” guy.
Given recent events, a lot of people have a whole lot of different opinions on the guy, so a bias has already been formed there when it comes to him. Justin Long, however, isn’t a huge actor (though is still recognizable) and hasn’t been in any scandals or anything else. Also, he looks like a normal, average guy. It adds to the appeal.
There are a lot of things that you can take from Apple when it comes to thinking about and creating your information products. From the product itself to the marketing campaign to how they even design the layout of their Apple stores, they keep their customers engaged and wanting more.
They do a great job of making everything seem incredibly easy: from the simplistic product designs to the spacious store layouts, the brand seems to keep its promise of delivering exactly what we want, and in just enough time so that we don’t forget the brand, and yet we don’t get tired of it either.