Engineering Copywriter Blog

Content marketing tips and insights to help grow your engineering audience

March 15, 2021

6 Product Marketing Tips We Can Learn from Steve Jobs

Apple has always been a marketing powerhouse. This fact is credited largely to one of the company’s co-founders, former CEO and chairman Steve Jobs. Apple’s marketing strategy has never been about the price war. Rather, it delivers a unique marketing mix that simply makes people desire their products.

Under Steve Jobs’ direction, Apple excelled at manufacturing and marketing products that already existed in some form, but which they could put their spin on. Their achievements as a brand not only propelled Apple to become an international phenomenon, but it also set the standard for excellent marketing strategy. Whether you’re building your engineering brand or trying to sell more products, below are some useful product marketing tips that you can learn from Steve Jobs and his team.

1. Simplify your product and marketing.

Steve Jobs understood the importance of keeping it simple. He didn’t only apply this to Apple’s product design but in their marketing strategy as well. Simplicity is evident in Apple’s products with its sleek and minimalist designs. They utilize simple color schemes with clean and uncluttered styling, resulting in gadgets that appear modern and elegant.

As for their marketing strategy, Apple keeps it simple there too. Complex marketing campaigns often overwhelm existing and potential customers, whereas simple and straightforward campaigns make people remember your brand. Apple’s marketing ads don’t focus on product feature lists, price, special effects, or voice-overs. Instead, they use a minimum of content and simple graphics that let the product speak for itself.

Top Tip: Move away from getting too technical with your ads. Instead, show what your product can do and how it can solve your customers’ problems.

2. Provide an optimal user experience.

Apple Store
Steve Jobs knew that to capture a consumer’s interest, you have to focus on giving them the ultimate user experience. Most companies focus on creating a great product alone and forget to consider how the user experience works in each aspect of the product. Apple, on the other hand, has created a customer experience that goes beyond purchasing the product.

The company has made extreme efforts to create an exciting experience in every aspect of the purchasing process, to include the comparison of different product versions, testing, buying, receiving, unboxing, and setup. Few brands have created their very own stores in the way that Apple has. Visiting an iStore or Apple Store is an experience unto itself: you enter and stay for hours just toying with and testing out their product and often end up purchasing before you go.

Top Tip: Create a cross-functional team and discuss with your engineering and marketing team on the best way to present your product/ service to the market. You may opt to focus on one aspect of your marketing campaign.

3. Create a powerful narrative.

Apple iPhone
Steve Jobs is not just the man behind Apple’s success, but also the face of overcoming challenges and leading Apple to greatness through innovative products. This narrative connects people to the brand and appeals to the consumer’s emotions. Apple uses powerful stories that provoke an emotional response in its audience. Their ad images, for example, feature happy and comfortable people using their products, illustrating how easy and relaxing the Apple experience is meant to be.

Aside from Apple’s interesting history, Steve Jobs built the company around a specific set of core values that the company and its employees live every day. The company makes it a point to show that they stand for something in every aspect of their operation. These values get delivered to Apple users around the world, too. No matter where you are, you get to have the same experience you’d expect from Apple.

Top Tip: Send out survey questionnaires to your customers and ask how your products have helped them. Once the results arrive, sit down with your team and brainstorm on how you can make the positive feedback into powerful narratives of your own.


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4. Connect to your audience using their language.

Steve Jobs is remembered for giving the best speeches in corporate history. These speeches are not only for businessmen but resonate with lay people as well. We remember him talking about innovation, being different, and stepping up. Like their co-founder, Apple has studied their customers diligently and perfected the best way to speak to them.

Instead of using product specifications and technical terms, Apple uses words that people know and understand. They know how to speak to their customers at a level that makes them feel comfortable rather than overwhelmed. This kind of marketing strategy creates deeper customer bonds and encourages more sales.

Top Tip: Create your buyer persona and work on customizing your ad campaigns with language that each persona understands.



5. Focus on your unique value proposition.

Unique Value
Steve Jobs and his team may not have invented the smartphone, MP3 players, tablets, or computers but they have managed to innovate on them and present them in a new light. Apple was able to improve user experience, navigability, weight, size, packaging, distribution channels, and most importantly, product design. And they use all of these as their unique value propositions.

Apple didn’t see the need to get involved in price wars despite their higher average pricing than the competition. Instead, they doubled down on their unique value proposition which is ‘beautiful products straight from the box.’ Apple focuses on the entire product with top-of-the-line features and extensive applications that make customers feel like its worth paying the higher price.

Top Tip: Reassess your product and make a comparison between your product and your competitor’s. Look for any specific feature that makes your product stand out and leverage that.

6. Build and leverage your community.

iPhone 11 Apple Commercial

Apple has created a brand personality and culture that resonates well with its audience from all walks of life. They have successfully built multiple hardcore fan bases around the world, as is evident by the 32 million Youtube views of their iPhone 11 Pro introduction and the many people camping out for new product launches. Its ‘Think Different’ ad campaign is an example of a successful strategy that rebranded both the Apple company and its public perception. The ad created a buzz that made people relate to the brand and made them look at Apple a little differently.

Apple’s active community helps promote the product through recommendations and reviews. Apple uses their testimonials and reviews as social proof that their products work and that its users are happy with the product. The company leverages the reviews and their active community by displaying them on their product pages and online marketplace.

Top Tip: Have your marketing team set-up review and rating widget in your company’s blog to enable your customers to rate your product.

Steve Jobs was a visionary – perhaps even a genius – and it was evident in how he managed to transform Apple into one of the leading tech companies in the world. Apple’s marketing strategy was so revolutionary that it changed the way people view the company. While it is true that nobody can be Steve Jobs, you and your team can learn from Apple’s marketing strategy and apply it to your own.

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