It seems like no marketing course can resist a good Apple case study. Last week was no different when I attended a one day course put on by the CIM.

And for good reason. What Apple has achieved over the past decade is nothing short of remarkable. Steve Jobs was a true visionary who crucially understood what Apple didn’t stand for as much as what it did.

This video illustrates the point nicely by asking, what would the IPod’s packaging look like if it was designed by Microsoft? (The fact that the IPod is used instead of the IPhone shows the video’s age – but it’s still funny).

Through gently mocking Microsoft’s style of communications, the video makes a serious point: by attempting to communicate everything, Microsoft has communicated nothing. This ‘spray and pray’ tactic of bombarding the consumer with product information reveals a deeper underlying problem. Microsoft doesn’t know its target audience well enough to understand how it creates real value for them. Instead, Microsoft spreads its bet by communicating numerous product features rather than hitting on the few key emotive and self expressional benefits that create true value to the customer.

As said by a director at Black and Decker, “our customers are not buying 1/4 drill bits, but 1/4 holes”. In other words, brands most understand the value they create for their consumer – the product features are mere technicalities.

Photo by segagman/Flickr/CC BY 2.0