We now live in a world without Steve Jobs, and an enormous void exists.
He leaves a legacy that will inspire millions of us for many reasons for generations. I offer three ways Mr. Jobs may inspire you:
- Experience of the brand. If you've never been in an Apple store, visit one soon. It's more like an attraction than a retail experience. The feel, the vibe, the overall experience of an Apple store should be your inspiration for your sponsorship program. For businesses that sponsor events, your onsite component should be so compelling that it becomes an attraction or an event in and of itself. Eventgoers should gravitate to your area and want to hang out there, playing around with your products or chatting it up with your staff, without fear of being surveiled or pounced on by overzealous sales people. Be generous. Let people experience your brand.
For sponsorship sellers, guide your sponsors and prospects by developing ideas and ways to participate in your events so that your audiences have this level of experience with your sponsors' brand.
- Speeches. Visit YouTube, search for "Steve Jobs," and spend some time watching his speeches, especially around product launches. Mr. Jobs clearly had a sense of humor, an eye for the dramatic, and a sincere way of drawing us in, expectantly. Do audiences at your events respond like this?
- Joy of Apple Products. I noticed in the days following the news of Mr. Jobs' passing a strong sensation of a void in my life. I did not know Mr. Jobs, and though I've been a customer since 1987, this connection still didn't account for this void and the quality of the sorrow.
Countless other technology and cultural writers have written about creativity, innovation, and why we love Apple products; however, it was not until I read Peter Shankman's blog post about why we love Apple that it all started to make sense for me. Shankman describes how such a deep level of customer service is woven into the products that we trust – we have complete confidence that our Macintosh or iPhone or iPad or Apple TV – or other product by Apple – is going to work, a confidence we don't have in most products and services.
I'd take it one step further. I realized the void I was aware of is not just counting on the products to work but relying heavily on Apple to take care of my technology needs. I don't need to spend time wondering what I need. The design team at Apple has done the work for me and creates products that are intuitive, effortless, elegant, and truly personal. They are products that live with me in my home, in my office, and in my travels.
This is no easy task, but your organization – through its products, services, brand reputation, relationships with customers, events – might hold these same aspirations.
To Mr. Jobs' family, friends, and colleagues, my deepest sympathies. To the team at Apple, we're counting on you, and we know you have big shoes to fill. Trust your intuition and your heart.