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What Attorneys Should Learn About Marketing From The Apple iPad

Apple iPad Marketing

Photo courtesy Apple Computer

What does the Apple iPad have to do with legal marketing? A lot.

Apple introduced the iPad in the spring of this year (2010). It came with modest applause from Mac fans; boo’s and jeers from the PC world. It wasn’t a full computer. It was, in essence, a giant iTouch. Most just simply said, “Why?”

That why was not a real question, but a rhetorical one. Those who didn’t “get it” simply assumed it would go away. An Apple failure.

But that didn’t happen.

First week sales were a few hundred thousand. It took a bit longer to hit one million in sales. PC fans assumed sales would fall off after the first blush.

But that didn’t happen, either.

In its first 80 days, the iPad sold 3 million units. Not too shabby. Pretty sure more PC manufacturers would jump at that. As would most phone manufacturers. Or any manufacturers of anything, for that matter.

Oh, and during this time, Apple also launced the new iPhone 4. As of this writing, 1.7 million in sales…in just 5 days. Not bad.

What about the attorney’s and their marketing lesson?

I consult with a lot of attorneys, accountants, financial professionals, and other professional service providers. The competition for lawyers is intense, and they’re diving into marketing like kids jumping in a pool on a hot summer’s day.

As much as attorneys have learned to “build a case” in law, they, as a group, don’t do the same in marketing. I find that all too often they look a quick fix, a silver bullet, or a miracle advertisement. “Just tell me which ad is the best, because I only want to run the one that brings in business.” (Real quote.) That’s like us saying, “Just use the defense that gets me off the hook, because I only want the one that guarantees the jury aquits me.”

Here’s three things I’ve learned to say when speaking on marketing to groups of lawyers.

1) Brands are built step by step over time. How you answer your phone, if you answer your phone, or what your voice mail sounds like—they’re all a part of your brand. Every experience your clients receive in working with you builds (or tears down) your brand. And it never ends. Your brand as an attorney is never done.

2) Don’t worry if everybody doesn’t “get it” right away. Marketing attorneys and law firms is about marketing expectations. When people don’t have the need for your services, they won’t hear much. Keep the message simple. Focus on being different, and being memorable. But when a potential client needs your services, they’re like patients in the emergency room: they want to know that there’s someone around to make things better. That’s what your brand needs to tell them, that you can help make things better.

3) First, be good at what you do. Then get people to understand what you do. Apple, in my opinion, didn’t do a great job of explaining what the iPad was for in the pre-launch marketing. Was it a tablet? A computer? A big “apps” screen? Apple’s first concern was doing their job of making a good piece of equipment that worked well. And they did that. Next came explaining it. How did Apple do that? They simply launched it. I bet their research showed that once in people’s hands, they’d love iPads. Every person I know with one was in love within five minutes of booting it up. Apple didn’t need to “sell”, they needed consumers to “experience” the iPad.

Three million units later, I’d say its working.

It’s been said that iPads are lousy for productivity. Why? Because as soon as you bring one to a meeting, everyone wants to play with it.

I know one attorney, a big PC guy, who was into music. He determined that an iPod was the best MP3 player and got one. A while later, he decided to get an iPhone, because his Blackberry just didn’t do all he wanted. Once he got that, he decided he wanted an Apple laptop for work. And yes, when the iPad came out, he got one of those, too. PC user, to Apple evangelist in 3 months flat!

I asked him which he used in court. His answer? “All three. I line them up. My laptop has all my files and notes. and my iPad has my case and presentation on it.”

“What about your phone?” I asked.

“That’s for calling home when court is in recess!”

– END –

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Can Apple Win Over Businesses With iPad? They Already Are.

When the announcement of the iPad came out, many poo-poo’d the device. It’s like knocking the Yankees at the beginning of the baseball season. It’s like complaining about the new Mercedes-Benz. A certain group always wants to de-throne favorite.

Some people jumped on Apple this week because it was estiamted they ONLY sold 300,000 iPads on the first weekend. Sales by mid-week were only 600,000. Ooooh, what a dismal failure. (The skeptics should wish for even a ounce of Apple’s marketing savvy!).

Apple knows consumers. They know our needs. More importantly, they know our wants. They know which of our buttons to push (or which touch pad).

Just ran across this great article on how Apple is slowly chipping away at the business market, traditionally a PC/Microsoft domain, through better understanding of consumer behavior.  Apple is doing this by understanding how to market to their audience. The article points out that Apple realizes that while not every consumer is a business person, every business person is also a consumer. Apple’s expertise in consumer product innovation and marketing is paying dividends in business, too.

As a result, the Apple brand isn’t just for fun and games anymore.

Read up on Apple’s marketing from none other than PC World.   http://bit.ly/cxlha3

Categories: branding, marketing Tags: , , ,

Leadership Marketing

February 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Here at Newman Grace, we’ve often spoken of “leadership marketing.” What do we mean?

Simply put, when you begin to market like a leader, it’s one of the first steps to becoming a leader. Remember that in marketing, perception is far greater than reality. If you aren’t the number one brand in your market, but people begin thinking you are, and you deliver on your brand promises, people will begin seeing you as a leader.

Apple is a classic example. In a recent research study I did on student brand perspectives, I found that a majority of college students believed Apple to be the largest manufacturer of computers. Not so. They’re #4. Number one (HP) is nearly 4 times larger. Number two (Dell) is right behind HP. They’re both 26+% of the PC market. Apple has around 7-9%, depending upon which study you read.

The point is that they are perceived as a leader.

Which brings me to the main point. In my last blog, I mentioned that brands growing in brand metrics have done a good job of getting customers to align themselves with the brand’s vision and values. We the second key characteristics of brands growing in awareness and preference is that they are perceived as leaders, innovators, or inventors. If they were actually leaders or innovators or inventors is far less important than if they are perceived that way.

The reality of a good brand will help you keep customers, but the perception of a good brand will do a lot more to help you get new customers.

Stay tuned for the upcoming third and final key to today’s growing brands!

Why Apple Doesn’t Sell Computers

January 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Quick, think about your last customer or client—did you “sell” to them, or did they “buy” from you? Did they reach out to you, or did you reach out to them? Was more effort exerted on  your end, or theirs?

The most successful brands in the world market and advertise themselves. But look at what they are saying. Apple doesn’t say, “Buy our computers.” They say, “Hey, this is cool, check it out.”  Nike doesn’t say, “Buy our gear.” They say, “Go for it.”

Michelin doesn’t sell tires, they sell safety. Coca Cola doesn’t sell soda, they sell refreshment. And In-N-Out doesn’t sell fast food, they sell wet, drippy burgers that people will line up around the block to buy.

It’s the same with services. Southwest is all about getting you where you want to go. Allstate is about feeling safe. And Facebook is all about connecting.

What are you “all about?” What drives your business? What drives you, and your employees? And does it show? Do your customers “Get it?”

The formula to a successful brand is simple. Do something, or make something. Do it for a reason. Make that reason important, to you and your customer. Do it differently than others. Do it better. And once you’re on top, reinvent yourself. Again, and again, and again.

Executing it is very difficult. Each step is a promise to the consumer, and you have to keep your promises.

Apple doesn’t promise a bigger computer. Nor a faster one. They promise a great customer experience with their products.

What can you promise your customers and clients? If you want to build a better brand, start there. A great brand starts with you.

Categories: branding Tags: , , , , ,