September 11, 2015 Kevin Erb

Puttin’ on the glitz

You may have noticed that Apple unveiled a slew of new products this week, and they did it in a most Apple-ian way: a highly publicized and closely watched unveiling, with a team of executives taking turns at telling us how each new product is the GREATEST. THING. EVER. It’s the same way they’ve done it since the Days of Jobs and their seemingly never-ending string of industry-creating and market-making products.

There was something different about this particular spectacle, however. Not that the casual observer would have noticed, which is exactly how Apple wanted it.

You see, while the presentation followed the same script they all do, the products were different. Well, they were different in that they were similar to existing products – the new iPad Pro is just like the Microsoft Surface, the new iPhones aren’t all that different from several Android competitors, etc. The new iPad now has a stylus! Groundbreaking stuff, this.

Big deal, you say. What does this matter to me as a marketer? True, the product may not make much of a difference, but the presentation certainly should. Apple’s brilliance as a marketer is largely unquestioned, and this week’s unveiling is another demonstration why. Watching it, you wanted that new iPhone and new iPad, even though you don’t need them – even though you could have bought similar products with similar features well before this week.

The lesson? Style still matters. A lot. We realize we expend a lot of energy telling you how important substance (content, strategy, etc.) is, but if you can’t sell it with style, it’s of limited value. What good is steak, after all, if it doesn’t have some sizzle?