There Is This Blog Post

Sometimes, when you have people listening and nodding  in agreement, they may be hearing something very different from what you think you are saying. 

Chris Anderson's tweeted about the There Is This Company post. Many people who read it see it, as Chris does, as a call to Apple to embrace some flavor of social marketing.  After all, it's 30,000-people company that doesn't have anyone I could find on LinkedIn with "social" and "media" in their title.

I don't think that's what I meant.

Apparently, Apple hasn't become the most admired company  with healthy sales growth, good margins, a nice stock rally, and lots of fans because it's social

What if Apple is what it is precisely because it isn't?

And maybe traditional advertising isn't too dead? At least as long as your banner ads actually drive people not only to your site, but also to the page that displays them?



  1. I think you're dead on here Ilya. When it comes to Apple, I always compare them to the Chinese restaurant down the street. It's a hole in the wall, they don't validate parking, the service sucks and some argue you're hungry a half hour later. But you'll keep going back because the food is just. that. good.

    Apple is an arrogant brand and that arrogance in some capacity is part of its success.

  2. Just in case you thought you weren't writing clearly, I'd just like to say I understood the point the first time. And I think it goes both ways - brands supposedly "burned" by social media are doing just fine, too.

  3. I believe that Apple, like many companies (successful and not so), closely mirrors the personality and attitude of its leadership. Steve Jobs is a great leader and inventor who is passionate about his products and "making a dent in the world." But Steve Jobs is not very social, he's even secretive and some call him arrogant. In other words, the Apple brand and Apple employees are following his personality.

    Not every great leader is an extrovert nor is every great brand "social".

  4. I would say that Apple has the luxury of having great products, which inspire their customers. They do not need to do social media, because people talk about them anyhow. If one takes a look at all the websites out there dedicated to Apple it should become clear why Apple is not investing in social media.

    Apple needs to get the word out that they have these products and can than rely on others to do the convincing.

  5. I have to agree with @tg.232... Apple has product evangelists that try to convert non-Apple people into using their products simply because they love it so much.

    Their 'social media' actions are simply the ones perpetrated by their loyal customers. Sure they could do their own stuff, but why bother when it's working so well?

  6. Hi Ilya -- I was having this very same discussion with Frank Streifler (Media Arts Lab) about this a few weeks ago. Perhaps Apple is inherently a "social" brand that has embraced more traditional outreach simply because its done such a great job, as you suggest, building its equity in the marketplace. I guess it's somewhat analogous to Coke's Facebook fan page approach... if it's brand advocacy is organically there as a bi-product of a strong product offering, then great.

  7. I feel that saying that Apple has lots of fans who do all the work doesn't explain how Apple got all these fans in the first place. Sure, you need a good product, but plenty of other good products are not anywhere near as popular.

    The entire "social media" concept is about democratization inclusiveness. Apple's operations, on the other hand, from design of its products to marketing and distribution are all about exclusivity.

    One of the "cult branding" books from a few years ago had a handy list of tips for creating a strong cult, and one of them was about not letting everyone in. I'll see if I can find it.

  8. yah i am agree with it that Apple has the luxury of having great products,anyhow happy christmas in advance to all here

  9. Isn't Apple the exception that proves the rule? Steve Jobs' vision is so compelling they can fall down on so many fronts and still flourish. I believe you can compete against Steve Jobian-like vision. Get very close to your customers. Understand what they want and give it to them.

  10. I agree with much of the above. Maybe Apple's social marketing began at the inception, building an experience that makes users say "whooa!" or "Finally!" and overhearing it, others take it on themselves to learn about the products. That certainly nothing new, a great product earning its own word-of-mouth endorsements. Once that happens, the company can rely on the vehicle of traditional advertising, with the luxury of crafting and controlling the personality and tone. Traditional advertising is not dead, and maybe one day it will be considered a kind of corporate status symbol. to paraphrase, when the brand talks, people listen.


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