“It’s not the consumer’s job to know what they want,” one of the greatest Steve Jobs quotes of all time. How would a consumer know that they want a device that they have never fathomed existing before such as a gadget smaller than a checkbook that can hold over 2,000 songs, or a revolutionary touch screen phone with a widescreen iPod and irreplicable web accessibility, or a touchable “pad” smaller than a piece of paper than can email, surf the web, and watch movies. This is what Steve Jobs did best, envisioned and created consumer desire where there was none. Jobs created a cult following in his products by shaping his brand perception so precisely. A true Mac follower wants the new Apple product even before they know what it is. 30 million iPads, 100 million iPhones, and 300 million iPods were not sold solely because they were great products (though they are), they were sold because of the ethos of the Apple brand that people identify so strongly with. The ethos of Apple is where Steve Jobs’ genius really shined.
When we think back to the most memorable commercials of all time, we think of Britney Spears and Pepsi, “Can you hear me now” from Verizon, Budweiser frogs, and of course the 1984 Apple Commercial. The 1984 commercial started the Apple ethos that PC users were mindless drones slaving to Big Brother, and everyone unique, hip, and passionate were clearly Apple. We have seen this idea in almost every Apple marketing campaign since 1984, including the “10th funniest commercial of all time”- Apple’s Stuffed (pictured left), where streamlined Josh Long in jeans and t-shirt embodies Mac and the “stuffed” man in a suit waddling around represents PC. Mac is perceived as the computer of the youth, which is most evident on college campuses (shown right).
Steve Jobs was on the forefront of forming and constantly maintaining this perception of Apple. Jobs personified the mac image in himself. When Apple would announce the release of a new product, Jobs would be there presenting it and championing the brand in his jeans and black turtleneck. He personally stood behind and promoted every single product Apple touched, how many CEO’s can you say that about? This dedication to the business and brand is what made Jobs one of the most well known executives of all time.