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Steve Jobs - Storytelling Genuis

October 7, 2011

Why haven’t we talked about the death of Steve Jobs yet? We were waiting for the most opportune topic, and today we found it. As a marketing and advertising firm, building brands is our business. While technology plays a huge role in effectively communicating a brand’s message, the core of what we do is based on a brand’s story, and not so much on creating the technology to tell those stories. Steve Jobs, while an amazing inventor, or sorts, and techie, was also a mastermind marketer.


Selling the Story

One aspect that we focus on here at Quaintise above all else is the art of storytelling. Building a brand is about creating a unique story, conveying that story, believing in that story, and ultimately getting the target audience to believe in that story as well. Steve Jobs was supremely talented at this process. His vision, his commitement to the story, and his messaging was second to none. It’s one of the greatest reasons why Apple has been so successful over the years.

There is Steve Jobs, the man as a brand, and Apple, his company as a brand. As complimentary brands, these two plots interweaved seamlessly to create a powerful, authentic, unique storyline that people believed in, bought into, and spent billions on. Steve Jobs created such brand equity for Apple that people didn’t care they were paying more; they trusted the brand and believed in its message.


The Brand

From the very beginning, Steve Jobs created exclusivity for Apple. Even though Apple was outsold by the competition, its exclusivity made it interesting. It was for the ‘cool kids,’ the good guys, the heroines. Apple made this clear in its very first massive ad campaign; “1984.” The plot was clearly laid out from the beginning, there was Apple the heroine, and there was everyone else (Dell, HP, Google, Microsoft), the villains.


Many years later, the plot remained the same, heroine versus villain, but the villain changed to all PC’s. This plot remains a pinnacle brand message for both Mac’s and PC’s.


Simplicity was always part of the heroine’s story, and one that Steve Jobs embraced when Apple moved into iPods, iPhones, and iPads.


Steve Jobs was able to redirect the consumer’s focus from the technology to the plot, from the complicated to the simple. In a genius maneuver, Apple was able to create billions of brand advocates by maintaining a consistent brand message, an authentic storyline, and a simple idea; there was Apple, and there was everyone else.