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Being ‘first’ is critical in an Industrial Economy.

Al Ries & Jack Trout, name this as Marketing Rule #1 #2 & #3 in their classic marketing book.

While ‘first’ is still important in the Connection Economy, ‘relationship’ is what brings success.

One more thing…

This is fast becoming Tim Cook’s (Apple CEO) signature for launching Apple’s latest initiatives.

While Cook + team have maintained the buzz that Steve Jobs made famous during his Apple Keynote speeches. A stark contrast between “Cook’s Apple” and that of the days of “Jobs” is that Apple is no longer first.

Consider the launch of the iPod, iPhone and iPad vs Apple Watch and now the new Apple Music.

Wearable tech has been pioneered by FitBit, Pebble and even Samsung for years. When I look at all the attention Apple Music is being given, the common theme is the question ‘What’s the difference between this and Spotify’?

I’ve been a Spotify true fan since 2013, as they helped me unhinge my reliance on iTunes and Apple – playing a massive part in me feeling comfortable to trial an Android mobile this year. However, during this time while Spotify changed my behaviour and relationship with music, they didn’t form any relationship with me. I don’t know who they are, and I don’t know where they are taking me.

Spotify disrupted the market, but Apple went for my heart.

Adapting Rule #4 from Ries & Trout states that “Marketing is a Battle of Perceptions Relationship, not Products”

The launch of Apple Music wasn’t centred on the product. Yes, it’s music streaming, but the focus of the launch was on the union of relationship and art.

  • Global radio (Beats 1) – Apple connecting everyone
  • Artist controlled eco-systems – share and engage directly with fans in one place &
  • Their promise to connect fans with other fans.

From the original iPod/iTunes to now, Apple has clearly transformed their music offering from an Industrial model built on scale, to a new connection model that now passes The Connection Test.

How can you do the same?

Even if you’re second, do it this way and you can still win.

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Colin york
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Colin york

Apple is amazing at UI and improving what others have done. The iPod wasn’t the first MP3 player, but it blew the others away. The iPhone wasn’t the first smart phone but it killed the competition. They put the user at the heart of everything. That’s their secret sauce.
Great post

Chris Fraser
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Hi Colin,

Thanks for the comment. Fully agree on their secret sauce! I guess in my mind they have taken those products so far in advance of what was once there, slipped my mind to remember my crappy little USB MP3 player that I’d have to download tracks off my CD collection then transfer across – was in the same market as the iPod!