How to do PR like Apple, or be Einstein, or Win Markets

A friend, Joel West, sent an email on Apple PR…an interesting article on Apple’s PR. The article answers: how does Apple do it?
Well Graham has you and every other corporation in the world covered by providing seven easy steps to becoming a PR darling:
1. Make innovative products.
2. Keep it simple.
3. Create truly memorable ads.
4. Find an enemy.
5. Work the taste-makers.
6. Offer surprises.
7. Put on a show.
Then, Mike Mace, on my team writes back:
This is almost like compiling a guide for how to be the next Einstein:
1. Be really smart.
2. Think up something revolutionary.
3. Win a Nobel Prize for it.
4. Don’t cut your hair.
So in the realm of adding something to this (while being not as pithy as those two…)
Here’s how to win markets:
1. Choose a market that is “green field” but is interesting and high growth.
2. Create a barrier to entry so no one else can enter it or at least beat you.
3. Make sure the ecosystem works so that momentum builds without doing it all yourself.
4. Develop a product or service that is compelling. And adds value.
5. Iterate product regularly without losing core competency.
6. Get traction and win out alternatives.
7. Make sure to spend enough to monetize the opportunity but not so much you squander money.
8. Optimize price without making your customers seek alternatives.
9. Develop “stickiness” and brand affinity without trying.
10. All the other stuff that business books write. Do that. But only the good parts.
None of this stuff is easy. And every technology guy who starts a conversation with me about “this market is big and there’s gotta be an opportunity”, I just start to tune out. If it were easy, I’d be outta business. And I’m not outta business because doing this stuff at a practical, operating level is incredibly fun and challenging. Geez, I just love my job.
Thanks, Joel and Mike for the humor and the fun of working with both of you.

0 Responses:

  1. Joel West. March 23, 2007 at 8:55 am  |  

    Nilofer — to reinforce the point, #1 seems to be the key issue. There are two different paths in life, and companies need to decide whether this is their path or if they’re taking the other path.
    Greenfields are not the only way to go — companies like Dell and Panasonic have done well on the other path. But it seems like these two different paths require two different types of companies. I don’t see Apple or Palm or TiVo being able to compete as a follower, so if they run out of empty fields to build in, they die. At the same time, a company like Panasonic (Matsushita Denki, aka Maneshita Denki, “copycat electronics”) or LG or Dell doesn’t really do well when it tries to get out front.


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