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Think Different: How Steve Jobs Revolutionized Apple's Brand and Products

James Huang | 2023.09.17

In 1997, Steve Jobs officially returned as CEO of Apple. There is a recorded video of an internal company speech by Jobs on YouTube, capturing his visionary insights at that time. In just a few minutes, he conveyed the core essence of the brand, which has been invaluable to me and remains one of the must-watch videos for me in the past decade.

In the video, Jobs mentioned that Apple had once been in a difficult situation in 1996, with a market share dropping from a peak of 16% to 4%. He realized that Apple needed to move away from the hardware specifications race and instead focus on expressing the desired perception of the brand clearly.

Jobs understood that all products and services in the world revolve around two core values: solving problems and satisfying emotions. He emphasized that Apple must sell its values rather than just hardware, attracting a group of believers. Jobs create the slogan "Think different," which resonated widely in the market. Additionally, he revitalized the design and appearance of Apple products by rehiring Johnny Ive, the head of the design department who had intended to leave. Apple began developing new products like iMac and the later OS X operating system, aiming to create computers that excelled in aesthetics as well. Jobs wanted consumers to believe that by purchasing Apple products, they were joining a community of unique individuals who could change the world.

Apple successfully broke the "specifications and price are directly proportional" law in the consumer electronics industry. Jobs was an exceptional entrepreneur and visionary, and his insights were unparalleled.  Jobs and Apple learned valuable lessons from their decline and were propelled to their current success. The constant in business is the connection between brand value and consumer perception, along with continuous communication - the key to long-term success.

Think Different: How Steve Jobs Revolutionized Apple's Brand and Products
MERCURY TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION, James Huang 17 September, 2023
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