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The End of an Era: What Steve Jobs Taught us about Marketing, Branding and Creating a Legacy

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In the wake of Steve Jobs' resignation (sad, but not entirely surprising), his amazing work at transforming Apple into the embodiment of branding perfection and launching products that every man, woman, and child covets is under a microscope.

How did he do it? How did he turn a product named after a piece of produce into a household name? How did he turn an incredibly uncomplicated branding strategy – the "i" – into a worldwide phenomenon? (See "Hammerhead-i Eagle Thrust" as a silly example.)

1. Find Beauty in Simplicity

This is a no-brainer. Steve Jobs insisted that everything associated with Apple be simple and beautiful. From iPhone packaging to little instruction manuals and product design, everything that Steve Jobs did is the opposite of garishness and flash.

Standing out among the marketing noise is challenging. What Apple did was ensure that everything they touched rose above the chatter. By doing the opposite of what mainstream marketers expect, Steve Jobs actually made his brand more identifiable.

From Steve Jobs, know that sometimes it's better not to compete with more flash, more glitter, more technology. More is mainstream; less is cutting-edge.

2. Don't Be Selfish

Apple introduced us to Muse, the Polyphonic Spree, Fiest, Jem, Honeycut and Imogen Heap while reminding us that we love Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back," Paul Simon, the Rolling Stones, the Eagles, Johnny Cash and James Brown.

Each time a memorable, fresh or notable artist or song was featured in an Apple commercial, album sales (and, of course, iTunes downloads) soared.

What Steve Jobs recognized is the power Apple. Steve Jobs creates iconic images, selling his über-cool products while helping out the little guy.

Share the spotlight with others in your marketing strategies. You'll get a boost from fans of your partners while introducing your clientele to an entirely different world.

3. Be Involved and Stay There

Steve Jobs was notorious for being an integral part of every thing Apple did, which is completely opposite of what normal CEOs do (hiding in their offices, relying on staff memos and taking long expensed lunches).

Sure, at times, Steve Jobs' involvement might have been a bit overbearing, but what it did do is show his personal commitment to the brand. He acted not like a CEO but a caring, engaged colleague who wants everyone to succeed.

Now we don't expect you to take your business to the heights of Apple, but every one of us can learn from what Jobs did for his company and implement into their own.

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