Bob Borchers was the Marketing Director for the iPhone from its launch in 2007. Now that he’s moved on from Apple, he’s been able to speak about some of the strategy behind the now infamous product. There are a few key things about brands that I’ve learned from this short article.

  1. Price isn’t an objection if the consumer sees value in a product
  2. when a product is new, it takes effort to create that value your product needs
  3. Identify a need or problem in the marketplace and communicate your solution for it
  4. Market research can describe what happend in the marketplace
  5. Think like “The Great One”, anticpate where the consumer will be, not just where they are

  • marketing guy who hosted the original, 24-minute iPhone guided tour video ( back in June of 2007 when the device first came out
  • Borchers also spearheaded the Nike+iPod partnership and Apple’s iPod integration efforts with major auto companies
  • When the iPhone launched with a $500 price, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said his first reaction was “that is the most expensive phone in the world and it doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard.” Later he said, “it may sell very well.”
  • He says one his goals at Apple was to establish in people’s minds that the iPhone was more than just another product, and something a consumer would be happy to pay more than a hundred bucks to own.
  • “Steve (Jobs) realized no one loved their phone,” says Borchers. “The goal was to make the iPhone irresistible and make the customers give the most effective demos. We deliberately never called it a smartphone because we don’t want to be part of what that was.”
  • He also believes Apple’s other edge is a long held marketing strategy it shares with his previous employer Nike — complete disdain for market research in devising new products.
  • “As a company, and I think Apple gets this better than anyone, you want to follow what Wayne Gretsky said about hockey: skate to where the puck will be, not where it is.”

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