Thursday, March 31, 2011

You Will With Apple

Imagining a future that leverages the benefits of innovative technology is not a dream reserved solely for Millennials. The Baby Boom Generation helped stretch our imaginations about what was possible. A company called AT&T, in an effort to reposition its brand to be more innovative and to appeal to a younger demographic for its loyalty, launched an aggressive campaign in the early 1990s called, "You Will."

The repositioning placed heavy emphasis on technology's influence on mobility and flexibility, and it blurred the lines between work and family lives. Today, that is our reality. In the course of a regular business day, we bounce in and out of different worlds, depending on the phone call, email, text or Twitter interruption. Work, marriage, kids, school, and new opportunities clamor for our attention. Technology got us to this place and technology will be our savior.

AT&T's attempt to be the iconic innovator worked well in its advertising campaign long ago, but failed miserably in the marketplace because the company could not deliver fast enough on the expectation it created. However, Apple is standing in the gap quite well as today's innovative brand. The, "You Will," concept works well with Apple, because it creates a vision for reinvention at a time when we need it most. And because we "need" it, we will buy it. We seem to be buying it from Apple more because it delivers to our needs with creativity and style.

Just when I began to detest Apple (see my earlier blog post, One Bad Apple), I now covet its products all the more.

The new iPad 2 made its Austin debut during the recent SXSW Interactive. For a few days, downtown Austin hosted an Apple retail outlet, and the destination felt like you were in Manhattan. The iPad 2 in AnyTown, USA, was the center of the world, and the world was filled with promise when the new product hit the market. The promise of Apple is that you will be able to do more than you can imagine with its products, and the company creatively carves out a companion-like relationship between you and its brand.

Scale creates intimacy with its products. The iPhone slips into my hip pocket nicely. I can feel it. My daughter's key ring is attached to mini-purse just big enough for the iPhone or an iPod Touch. Like a little puppy, the new iPad 2 sits easily on your lap. Owners caress it with care. It's personal. At the same time, iPad owners willingly share their tablet. It's a bragging right. "Oh, you don't have one? I do. Try mine. It's cool."

Color plays into the brand prominence of Apple, and it enhances the customer experience. Again, it's personal, not generic. The personal relationship with the iPad 2 is more than skin deep. More than 65,000 applications are available via Apple to expand your imagination about what you can do, if you will. It’s like a marriage that never gets old -- always exploring, revealing new possibilities, always serving with creativity. Apps like, FaceTime eliminate distance. Touch-edit features with iMovie and creative music mixing with GarageBand open your eyes to what you never thought possible. Apple's brand is transformational, and its brand essence spills over to complementary product lines.

Get ready for sleek, creative iPad 2 covers to help personalize the Apple product further with distinction. The launch price for the newest Apple product makes it approachable. And, although the world was not clamoring for a newer version of the iPad, Apple saw the need for it nonetheless. Estimates indicate a strong consumer demand. Bringing forth the new iPad 2 is like opening a new Starbucks. The new kid on the block gratifies the thirsty and market demand grows.

Of the estimated 24.1 million tablets expected to sell in the U.S. this year, 20 million could be branded with the iconic Apple. That is an impressive market share, but one day soon the pool is going to attract more swimmers, and the real olympians will survive. This is the pool of technology and the future. "And the company that will bring it to you," is not AT&T. Today it's Apple.