If you read through interviews, magazine articles, and stories about Steve Jobs, you’re never going to hear him say, “Here are my branding tips,” or “Here is how you build your brand.” Jobs didn’t operate under a cut-and-dried, connect part-A to part-B mentality.
For Steve Jobs, branding wasn’t some secondary objective, peripheral to his “true” objective of making great consumer products. Branding was within everything that he did. Check out these seven quotes, through which you can get a taste of Steve Jobs’s brand-building philosophy.
(All quotes via Brainy Quote.)
Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”
You don’t have to be in business for long to know that this one is true. Go the extra mile in everything, and the value of your brand will make itself evident to your clients and partners.
Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”
Every brand will make a mistake. The trick is knowing how to recover from your mistake.
Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”
Every brand is a creative brand. Why? Branding is storytelling, and storytelling is a creative work. While Jobs is mainly referring to products in this quote, his words are just as applicable to branding, something that’s evident in everything the Apple brand does.
Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
For Jobs, products were not supposed to be stagnant objects that simply perform functions; his products were designed to help people do the things that people wanted to do. In other words, Apple products were designed to foster innovation. This approach goes beyond product design, affecting your brand’s design. Branding isn’t just about what’s on the surface; it’s also about how your company functions internally.
And it comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We’re always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.”
Expansion is usually a good thing, but that expansion doesn’t always have to involve creating new products or entering into new industries. Jobs built a strong brand by limiting his focus to doing just a few things really, really well.
It’s hard to tell with these Internet startups if they’re really interested in building companies or if they’re just interested in the money. I can tell you, though: If they don’t really want to build a company, they won’t luck into it. That’s because it’s so hard that if you don’t have a passion, you’ll give up.”
Great branding requires passion, and in Jobs’ book, the drive for money isn’t a strong enough “passion.”
It took us three years to build the NeXT computer. If we’d given customers what they said they wanted, we’d have built a computer they’d have been happy with a year after we spoke to them – not something they’d want now.”
In order for a brand to be truly successful, it has to know how to anticipate need. No company has been as successful in this arena as Apple.
What’s your favorite piece of branding advice from Steve Jobs?