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Obviously in the last week lots of things have been written about Apple … some good, some bad, some happy, some sad.
I’m not going to contribute any more because pretty much everything that could be said, has been said – and it’s been said much better than I could ever hope to do – however there is one thing the company does that I think rarely gets the credit it deserves, and that is their habit of launching one key new product or evolution per year.
Think about it, in a world where marketing seems to have adopted a view that capturing attention and market share can only be achieved through the continual launch or evolution of products, here is a company that shuns producing a constant stream of products in favour of focusing all their energies and attention on delivering one major product launch/evolution per year.
I’ve been trying to get definitive figures, however I heard LG launched 37 different phones in the last 18 months whereas Apple launched one.
37 to one!
Think about that for a second … it means that LG launched, on average, 2 new mobile phone products per month for the last 18 months.
Think about the cost to do that … it must be absolutely enormous … and that’s before you even take into account the huge marketing costs that have to go along with it. No wonder so much of LG’s advertising is just wallpaper, designed to make a lot of noise without ever saying much.
OK, so LG and Apple are very different companies focused on different audiences with very different financial requirements … however this ‘new news at all costs’ attitude seems outdated given todays ‘constantly connected’ World.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to keep in people’s consciousness and producing innovative, meaningful and valuable products/updates is a very important pillar to achieve that … however too many companies make the mistake of only focusing on what they think is innovative, meaningful and valuable rather than finding out what people really want – which will rarely ever come from a focus group – which is why so many of these companies ultimately are alienating their audience rather than attracting them.
By spending [for sake of argument] 11 months focused on producing something that is truly awesome, rather than constantly churning out average products with big marketing spend in an attempt to gain market share, Apple have been able to make things they, generally, are worthy of the [free] hype they generate and by having less inventory to promote, they make their ‘simple yet meaningful’ communication work much harder for its money than most other brands and that’s before you even get to the commercial value they achieve through their approach towards packaging and distribution.
Whatever you think of Apple … regardless of the mistakes they’ve made in their past … their lessons go well beyond just the creation of technology and if anyone wants to stand a chance of taking their place in the future, an appreciation of less is more is probably one of the best places they could start.
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