MARKETER OF THE DECADE

Steve Jobs

MARKETER OF THE DECADE

When Steve Jobs returned to a struggling Apple in 1997, he brought back his original agency, TBWA\Chiat\Day, with specific instructions: Buy us some time. Jobs knew that the iMac could well save the company he’d founded in 1976 (he’d left a decade later, after a management shakeup)—but the new model was 12 months off. Meanwhile, to let the world know Apple was not going away, Jobs needed a rallying cry—something to remind the core following of Apple’s rebel spirit. The result: “Think different.” The effort relaunched the Apple brand, but carried an equally important message: Steve was back. Visionary, iconoclastic and fearless, Steve Jobs the marketer is inseparable from Steve Jobs the personality. His inimitable blend of competitive skill and design savvy hasn’t just saved a fading brand, it’s recast two businesses that used to have nothing to do with computers: music and mobile phones. Over the past decade, Apple’s iPod and iPhone have redefined popular culture, and returned the company to its roots in innovation and just-plain coolness. (Apple’s market share in PCs also jumped from 3.8 to 10 percent.) Along the way, Apple got its advertising groove back as well. Work from TBWA\Media Arts Lab underscored Apple’s positioning as a top-end brand that believes its products are worth the extra money. Jobs knew that people who choose Apple over a cheaper competitor are saying something about themselves: that they, too, think different. —Noreen O’Leary

MARKETER OF THE DECADE

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