How Can Apple Continually Upstage an Entire Industry?

Last year Apple caused quite a stir by announcing the iPhone at the same time as CES.  The result was one product getting upstaging an entire industry.  The immediately ground breaking iPhone hit the main stream press while the other phone vendors, crammed into CES with TVs, Toys and computers, had to fight for even the smallest amount of coverage.

This year, even without a truly revolutionary device, Apple has yet again upstaged the rest of the industry put together.  This time it was with two very evolutionary devices.  Devices that aren’t mainstream.  Devices that are built for techies.So how do they do it?  And how on earth do they do it with a revised Mac Pro and Xserve Server?

Steve Jobs

Play Hard to Get

One of the secrets of Apple’s marketing is that it really looks as if they don’t try.  While companies like LG and Nokia are scrambling over themselves to get the key interviews and TV spots, Apple sits back and waits for the press to come to them.  It’s this “you need us more than we need you” attitude that seems to serve them well.

Keep them Guessing

Apple are usually tight lipped about future product releases.  While there were rumours abound regarding the iPhone last year, no one was ever really sure.  The result was that all eyes were on MacWorld.  Everyone wanted to see if the iPhone existed and, if it did, what form it took.

The same is true this year.  There are rumours of Touch Screen Macs, Slim Laptops and iTunes Movie Rentals but once again, no one really knows.

Be Aloof

All PR type people have canned answers for reporters, but when it comes from an Apple employee, it seems so much more aloof and enticing.

Create a “What Next?” Atmosphere

Considering MacWorld is but a few days away, I don’t think anyone was expecting Apple to announce new hardware this week.  Or, realistically, in between Christmas and MacWorld.  But what Apple have done is to create this unbelievable anticipation for what’s about to come.  If the MacWorld keynote is too packed with good stuff to have enough time for the fastest computer Apple’s ever sold, the other stuff must be great.  To give this scenario an analogy:  imagine waking up a week before Christmas to find a great gift waiting for you, only to be told it’s not part of your Christmas present, and there’s more to come.

Quite possibly the most impressive thing about Apple’s marketing is that it is very clever and obviously planned out to the nth degree.  It’s no coincidence that the new machines were released during CES but not at CES.  but despite this, we’re still suckers for it.  And despite the fact that it’s so overtly planned, it doesn’t feel that way.

Photo of Steve Jobs by acaben.