I am writing this on my nearly new MacBook Air on the day that Steve Jobs passed away. I happen to be in New York City for a speaking engagement. My hotel is very close to the “flagship” Apple Store on 5th Avenue.
Within an hour of the announcement of Steve’s death, people began to gather, light candles, leave flowers and (for some) to shed a few tears. I realized that I, and many others, had developed an emotional relationship with Apple and the visionary that was Jobs.
It’s hard to imagine an emotional relationship with an electronics maker, but that is exactly what made Apple such a success. Against all odds, in the middle of a horrific recession, their stores are packed, their stock is soaring and they cannot make their products fast enough.
What magical secret did Steve Jobs discover? He completely understood that his company and its products were and continue to be totally unnecessary. THAT is the advantage. We rarely connect emotionally to necessities, commodities, transaction providers and the like.
Nearly every other computer and gizmo maker in the world is struggling to survive. They feverishly crank out cheap, plastic commodities. They market them based on price and gigantic lists of technical specs crafted to confuse and overwhelm. They offer an ever-growing, always changing list of models and options designed to be obsolete within weeks. It isn’t working.
Apple produces an extremely narrow range of products. Most are only changed once a year. It is all about quality and meticulous attention to detail. Most import of all, Apple strives to connect emotionally with people.
They market the iPad as a “magical device.” There is barely a mention of tech details. They hold firm on a higher price to sustain the quality and reliability. It’s working brilliantly.
Listen closely travel professionals: you are also totally unnecessary and that CAN be your biggest advantage. You could choose to focus on price and market an endless ever-changing list of suppliers and bargain products. Or, you could choose to focus on quality and start connecting emotionally with people.
Travel can be sold as a commodity or a magical experience that can truly change the world. Choose your focus and start making magic.
“People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are usually the ones who do.” ~ Steve Jobs, 1955 – 2011. RIP
Nolan Burris is an author, former travel agent, failed musician and self-professed techno-geek. He’s also a popular international speaker both inside and outside of the travel industry. He is the founder and chief Visioneer of Future Proof Travel Solutions (futureprooftravel.com) based in Vancouver, Canada. Nolan’s believes that if can change the way business works, you’ll change the world. His goal is to spread the message of integrity and ethics in a techno-driven world.