Marketing literature manages to obscure a simple idea behind phrases like “the loyalty loop” and “quality and authenticity of” a simple message: Before all else, be absolutely damn sure your customers feel understood and cared about. This is precisely how both Apple and Blendtec of “Will it Blend” fame both managed to rake in piles of cash. But how exactly did they do it? Let’s take a brief look at some of that jargon.
“Many marketers focus on media spending (principally advertising) rather than on driving advocacy.” –
“Branding in the Digital Age: You’re spending your money in all the wrong places” , David C. Edelman
To get “advocacy”, or people talking well of your business, you just need to treat them well and make sure they feel understood and cared about. The Will It Blend? campaign responded to users submissions: they knew people wanted bizarre spectacles, and they gave them their choice. Apple is a bit more complicated. Edelman’s article acknowledges that apple has “eliminated jargon”, but he understates exactly how important these stores are. By direct employees training staff to speak in emotional rather than technical terms to address the concerns of customers, they are better targeting the consumer market that niether knows nor cares about technical specs. This is where most PC retailers fail: staff can talk about how powerful the 4 cores in their affordable computer are, but they can’t give your mom a simple yes or no answer to “Will I be safe from viruses when I check my email?”. Most of the consumer population doesn’t care about cores or gigabytes. They just want to be sure that facebook, email, and skype will work without any hassle, and apple tells them “yes, it will” with a friendly smile.
So what about other big tech companies? Microsoft is trying to catch up, and so are the other manufacturers. They’re miles behind, but luckily for them Apple’s bogged down under some bad recent decisions.