The other day I was watching a recording of a Q&A with Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Computer. During the Q&A, a member of the audience rose his hand and made a rather derogatory statement claiming that Jobs had received "undeserved praise" and that there were actually "more advanced" technologies available to the public. Job's response left a deep impact on me as it should any entrepreneur. He paused for a moment, then cooly agreed with the man, admitting that in certain aspects there was indeed more complex technology out on the market. Then he went on to say that the difference between Apple Computer and anyone else, was that Apple Computer was the only company who was wise enough to take the complex technologies available to the market and make them simple enough for the every day user to experience easily. Although there may have been other technologies that were "more advanced", Jobs was confident that Apple was greater because other technologies were too difficult and frustrating to use. Directly quoted Jobs said, "You have to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology."
If you have ever paid attention to the Apple Computer user experience, then you will know that EVERYTHING in the company is thoroughly thought out. From the unpacking experience of the iPhone, to the simplicity of the Macbook Launch Pad, every detail in every product is created with the user experience in mind. Better than anyone else at the time and perhaps even better than anyone today, Apple has been able to invent entirely new inventions with enough foresight to judge how the customer would use it. Today when you use any Apple product, whether it be a iPhone, iPad or iPod (if you're a little old school), you are left with an unforgettable impression of what a great brand it is.
Now, how does this relate to us? I would venture to say that all business owners and entrepreneurs need to learn to think like Steve Jobs. Just as with Apple Computer, every step of our own customer's experiences should be carefully planned out. Sometimes it's the small details that make the difference.
A short example is my own company's unpacking experience:
When my company Sir Wylde ships a package, it's not just a plain box thrown together. We have custom printed boxes in different sizes depending on the size of the order, custom printed inserts with an artistic edge, a handwritten note, and a few business cards. Everything is packaged carefully and personalized to the customer.
Why do we put so much time and money into our packaging? Because we are building a brand. And not just an average one.
Go do something unforgettable this week!