Steve Jobs on Marketing: Strategy Lessons from Apple's Marketing Genius

Steve Jobs on Marketing: Strategy Lessons from Apple's Marketing Genius

In 2018, Apple was the first company to ever hit the trillion-dollar mark. A lot of this success is due to Steve Jobs's vision and marketing genius. The marketing strategy and genius that moved beyond the mac to music, fitness, and retail.

Do you have experience with marketing or are you new to it? Whether you are in the mobile, fitness or music business or not, you will learn how to use the strategy lessons to apply them to your business.

It's important to know that Steve Jobs and Apple took leaps of faith that paid off years later. For example, in 2001 Apple was losing money. In 2014, it made 57X the revenue from 2001. Steve Jobs marketing genius paid off in the long run.

Did you know that Apple has over 50% of the smartphone market share globally? This is more than all of the other competitors combined. With over 100 million iPhone users in the United States alone, it's worth paying attention to their strategies.

Whether you like Steve Jobs, have an iPhone, or not, you will learn strategy lessons for marketing for your business to get results. Their market share and results are undisputed after all.

Steve Jobs on marketing: how to use the genius of Apple's marketing strategy for your own business success.

Strategy Lessons from Apple's Marketing Genius

Steve Jobs and Apple changed the way the world connects and thinks. America loves its Apple. The average American household owns at least two Apple products. It wasn't always that way.

Steve co-founded the company in 1976 and was removed in 1983 amidst declining sales and flawed marketing. Fast forward to 1997 when Steve Jobs came back as interim CEO. By the end of 1998, the company was back in the black. It's important to realize that Apple was and is not immune to challenges to overcome.

Steve Jobs learned from those early challenges and his marketing genius led Apple to become an iconic brand. No matter what business you are in, you can learn from Steve Jobs on marketing.

Here are strategy lessons from Apple's marketing genius.

Compelling Vision

Most, if not all of us, have heard Steve Jobs on marketing the vision of Apple. Steve Jobs and Apple are iconic when crafting a story that inspires people. They took Apple to a brand with the vision and messaging.

Everyone around the world has heard Steve or Apple say the famous “Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently" speech. If they haven't heard it, they've seen it. This is one of the most heard Steve Jobs famous quotes, Think Different (1997)

The vision of Apple brought people along to be and do something greater. In building a brand, its important to consider creating a community. When evaluating your business, ask do you have a compelling vision to lead a movement? 

Strong Values

Many people ask how is Apple so successful. Time and time again, Steve Jobs on marketing spoke and showed people “Marketing is about values. It’s a complicated and noisy world, and we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us.

No company is. So we have to be really clear about what we want them to know about us.” The brand learned how to excel how to communicate a message to the world.

Consider your values in your business. Are they at the core of what you do? Do you share them often? How do you connect people to your values so they know what you stand for?

Sell Dreams

Any business can sell a product or service. Not everyone sells dreams. Apple’s marketing strategy involves selling people a package of dreams. The packaging and the experiences whether in-store or online is unmatched. 

Apple managed to reinvent themselves with vision and values and their products. They managed to translate to people that by buying Apple, you buy the vision Steve Jobs had. The vision of your dreams may be fulfilled.

Steve Jobs on marketing succeeded in connecting with people. Steve recognized people have dreams, hopes, and ambitions. He connected the products to that emotion as no other tech company has.

When you look at your business, ask how are you connecting with people emotionally? In what ways, do you sell dreams?

Master Mission

Building a brand requires being an evangelist yourself. Steve Jobs gave us some of the best speeches in corporate history. He mastered the mission and the message. He was avidly against PowerPoints. 

Jobs advocated speaking with passion and purpose with mastery of the mission. He knew how important it was to be a true believer of the message and to know it by heart. 

It isn't enough to simply have vision and values. Speaking regularly to people about your belief in the mission and message is necessary to build an iconic brand. Consider how often you communicate the vision and mission. Are you a true believer of your message? How could you improve your communication? 

Great Products

Apple has delivered for over 30 years on strategy, innovation, and inspiration. There are not many entrepreneurs have managed to do what Steve Jobs on marketing did, as well as lead teams to create an excellent product suite.

Look at every aspect of an Apple product and you'll recognize it. From the performance to the design to the box the products come it - when you buy an Apple you know what to expect.

For Steve Jobs and thousands on his team, product quality came first with marketing strategies. In a famous quote: Steve Jobs on marketing said:

It’s not about pop culture, and it’s not about fooling people, and it’s not about convincing people that they want something they don’t. We figure out what we want...

There’s a great quote by Henry Ford, right? He said, ‘If I’d have asked my customers what they wanted, they would have told me ‘A faster horse’.” 

Consider how your business may expand on great products and services? How could you exceed people's expectations?

Simplicity Sells

Apple excels at simplicity. In everything you experience with the product and design, you can see its simple. It's clear that less is more. Apple is relentless in simplicity and its use for people.

Even if you are not an Apple user, glance at an iPhone or Mac. You will quickly see how simple and intuitive Apple products are to use.

Look at your products and services your business offers. How could you simplify your products and services?

Expand Experiences

Expanding experiences is an effective strategy in any business. Apple has continued to dominate in the market from the product delivery to the retail store experience. When you go in-store, you have an experience that is completely different than other retailers.

You are given personal hands-on experience, demos and tutorials to make sure you are set up for success. Apple expands experiences to make you feel part of the community and the team.

For your business, analyze how it feels to use your products, and think of what you want to improve.  Do you offer hands-on experiences for your community? Are you showing people how to engage with your services regularly? Do you listen and get feedback from them to improve?

Raving Fans

The best brands in the world get people to recommend the brand without being paid for it. Apple continues to excel at this. They've turned their customers to evangelists of the products.

Apple shares and sells a culture and lifestyle. Apple users are avid fans and sponsors of the brand. Through the process, consider how you may get early adopters to share on social media so your brand will stand out. 

There are many ways to do this in today's online world that Apple didn't have when they first started. In your marketing, consider how you could use social media marketing to grow. How about influencer marketing to help your business start creating raving fans?

Be the Best

Apple didn't invent MP3 players, Smartphones or computers. They reinvented them to a better shinier version of the technology. Apple wasn't scared of the competition. They went after their competition.

They decided to take the same products and improve packaging, experience, and distribution. Apple improved the design to improve the user experience in every way.

How could you disrupt your industry? What ways could you create a new experience with your products and services? Do you evaluate your product and process to improve regularly?

Innovation Wins

Steve Jobs knew that innovation wins. Thinking outside the box is the culture of Apple. This started with the Mac and continued with all of their products each and every time. 

Innovation never ends. The best CEOs and creators know that technology, methods, and preferences may change. The vision and legacy of Steve Jobs on marketing are alive in the products of Apple. 

Steve believed you've got to not only think and dream big but fight for those dreams. He understood and led Apple to a strategy of risks to be different. When you look at your business, are you innovating regularly?

How do you go outside the box of what everyone else in your industry is doing? What do you do to challenge the status quo? Are you making people uncomfortable regularly? You need to be different or you will be like the rest. That means you are not the best. 

Find a Competitor

Apple embodies simplicity, sleekness and out of the box thinking. It's no surprise that Apple focused on comparing to its competitor Microsoft. They compared their simplicity with Microsoft's complexity, as well as lack of design.

Steve Jobs made it clear for Apple that product development included the design. This is now part of the brand recognition for Apple. As a result, it was easy to compare to their competitors.

Make a list of your competitors and how you are different. Consider how your presentation of your products compares to your competitors. How could you be different? What ways do you stand out? How could you take action next?

Steve Jobs and Strategy Lessons

There is no arguing that Apple is one of the iconic brands. Steve Jobs on marketing recognized early on focusing on vision, mission, and excellence. This led to raving fans waiting in lines for the next release. 

Apple managed to reach a trillion in sales. This is something no company accomplished by 2018. There is no disputing Steve Job's and his team's marketing genius with Apple. These strategies started decades ago with the brand now well established as an icon.

These marketing strategies may be applied to your business no matter what industry you are in. These principles of vision, values, and simplicity are timeless and universal.  It's important to create a culture and a community that gets behind your vision.

To improve your business, start assessing where you are today with these marketing strategies. Choose 1-3 strategies to implement in the next 90 days. Refine your approach and relentlessly improve your business.

Building a brand and becoming the best is a journey and doesn't happen overnight. Apple is 30+ years in the making. It's important to remember that and keep things in perspective.

What action will you take next to improve your business with these strategy lessons?

If you want to learn more about tech and Apple products, visit our blog.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published