Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Day Steve Jobs Stole My Kid

So today Steve Jobs gets his first real shot at creating a new lifelong consumer of his wares.  Zach, my 11 year old, is participating in his first Apple Camp class at the Apple Store.   His class is about movie making, something he already has a passion for and, if I do say so myself, is quite good at.

He was excited as we walked into the store and he was greeted by the "Door Genius" at the front door.  He showed him to the bank of tricked out Mac Books and (conveniently mentioned) new iMacs and said for him. "To just pick one."  Zach' eyes grew big and he began to salivate as he surveyed the possibilities - settling for the biggest iMac they had.  As he sat down and took in the uber chic surroundings I watched his excitement increase from a a level 8 to a full on level 10+. 

The Apple bug had successfully bitten the young lad and I am quite sure that there is no known cure for such an affliction.  I felt like I had just taken my kid to The Alter of Jobs and mindlessly handed him over so he could be properly welcomed to Tribe Apple.

Somewhere in the bowels of the Apple Store I could have sworn I heard an evil laugh and the words of Mr. Jobs state, "We've got another one." 

The seductive pull of the new iMac and all of the marvelous toys also called to me, begging me to come closer and play. The eerie black light and the soft gentle jazz almost lulled me into walking back there into the depths of the store with credit card in hand.  Fortunately I came to my senses as I was bumped back to my senses by Zach's insistence that I could leave so as not to embarrass him with the drool that had begun to form in the corner of my mouth. I left poor Zach to be brainwashed errr I mean trained on his own. After all it's his camp and neither my credit card nor a disapproving wife would allow me to be further sucked into the Steve Job's product machine.  At least not today.

As I escaped to the Starbucks next door, where I am quite sure I heard an evil laugh and a voice that sounded an awful like Howard Schultz say, "Ha Ha Ha he's back!" I couldn't help but reflect on the actual genius of Mr. Jobs.  Seriously.  He right now is forever planting in my kid's mind that Apple and all of their cool products are the only thing he needs.  My wallet says, "Damn you Steve Jobs!" by the way.

Their free Apple Camp where a young person can learn to make movies, do all sorts of cool things on a Mac and God knows what else, is really a secretly hidden marketing ploy at work.  Their camps are positively infecting the young minds of tomorrow's consumers and I guarantee Zach will walk out of there thinking is hip looking instructor with the kick ass hair was awesome and whatever technology we have today won't be good enough.  Message sent, delivered and likely remembered by young Zach forever as he admires the Apple Tribe tattoo that has now been etched into his body.

I am left marveling at the sheer genius of it all and wonder, is there a way that other companies could follow suit?  Sure Apple is tricked out and cool and not all products and services exactly match up but could a similar experience be created?  Could your company actually create a chic cool approach to forever establishing a collective foothold in the minds of your current or future customers with a similarly creative approach?

I'm not suggesting you can necessarily repeat the magic of what Mr. Jobs and his team are creating with this experience, or the experience of his One on One Sessions for big kids like me.  No, what I am suggesting is could your company learn something from what they are doing and perhaps come up with an idea, strategy of concept that could have similar results?  I submit that much can be learned and applied to companies that are willing to take a look and learn from the mind of a genius like Steve Jobs.

It's a question I plan to ponder for Ripple and hope for your company you might do the same.

For now I must finish up my Starbucks drink, quite typing on my Mac Book Pro, turn off my iPod, check my messages on my iPhone and go collect my iKid only so I can hear how "old" our iMac is all the way home. Now where did I put my iPad?

Ripple On!!!

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