A few days ago Dave Winer wrote a post on pulsing technology, about how Apple has a pulse and follows a pattern every year. The company builds expectations, then follows up with an established cadence.
The Steve Jobs' defined process and event signature served the company well over the years by keeping its evangelists, developers, and customers in the loop. From Jobs' WWDC 1997 Q&A:
[...] we need to keep our eye on the prize.
And that is turning out some great products, communicating directly with our customers the best we can. Getting the community of people that are going to make this stuff successful like yourselves in the loop, so you know everything and is marching forward, one foot in front of the other.
I wrote recently about how as a business Apple closes the perception-value gap. It is not a coincidence that the product company has climbed to the top of Interbrand's best global brands#. Its strong resonance is due to a consistent design of experience, with some element of surprise thrown into it -- the introduction of the iPad certainly was that.
Brand is a short form to express a core truth and encapsulate expectations, stories, memories, and relationships that compel us to hire a service/product to do the job we want done.
When the brand delivers on those expectations, we pick it again. The best global brand is one with a well defined pulse that originates in empathy and focus and is expressed creatively and professionally.
If you were tempted to look up the definition of "impute" (I was), you will find the most appropriate entry to be classified as finance: assign (a value) to something by inference from the value of the products or processes to which it contributes.
Brand stories with a pulse give you something to think about and keep you coming back for more. Other brands that are getting their story right -- even as it is not as orchestrated and interconnected as Apple's:
- Red Bull -- they are in the extreme lifestyle category and engaged with activities and stories that "give you wings," all the ways to the edge of space#
- Burberry -- the connected bespoke experience that appeals to younger affluent generations#
- IBM -- core conversations about a smarter planet is a theme and behavior that has encapsulated the company's mission and its go to market strategy#
- Harley Davidson -- rides with customers, a classic on friendship and camaraderie#
If your business is not building a capacity for tuning into customers and users, then the door is wide open for one that does have a pulse to come in and get their story right.
Brand stories need to work for the business, too. This means they need to be doable, create opportunities for the organization, and make an impact to produce advantage over time.
Valeria is an experienced listener. She designs service and product experiences to help businesses rediscover the value of promises and its effects on relationships and culture. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. Book her to speak here.