I found myself reviewing the copy for Apple’s famed "Think Different" campaign last week and was immediately struck by the fact that the usually hugely secretive Apple had announced its entire brand strategy in a campaign that debuted way back in 1997 four years before the launch of iPod in October 2001 (yes, it has been that long already).
Read it again:
"Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They invent. They imagine. They heal.
They explore. They create. They inspire.
They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
We make tools for these kinds of people.
While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."
Consider. With iTunes Apple solved the music industry’s distribution problems. Apple followed it up by launching iPod into a market already dominated by mobile music players.
"Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written?"
It was Apple that manufactured white computers and components while the rest of the industry distributed materials in two colors, black and vanilla. It was Apple who pioneered the trademark white headphones creating the headphone generation.
It was Apple who launched the iPhoto interface.
"How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? "
And it is Apple, thanks to its Unix-based operating system, that has the best opportunity to transform the PC into a lifestyle product in the same way Nike and Just Do It have become far more than athletic wear.
"Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."
Apple’s revenues are up 48% this quarter. And to think Jobs laid out the strategy years ago. Right under the nose of Sony, Microsoft, and Hollywood.
If only they had been paying attention.