Will Jobs’ Implementation of a “Cultural Movement” Sustain the Apple Brand?
This week Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO of Apple. Although some may have known the move was imminent, it shook the advertising and marketing world on Wednesday evening when his resignation passed across the wire.
As the stories unfolded, reporters raised the question as to how this would impact the Apple brand moving forward. In Stuart Elliott’s Media Decoder blog post, there was a resounding feeling that the brand would survive and continue to push ahead in the short term. Jobs has surrounded the company with the best in the business; strategically setting it up for success.
North American CEO Rob Scalea of The Brand Union was quoted as saying, “For Apple to sustain its visionary status over the long term, the company must continue to innovate and excite consumers around the world.”
While he and others agree that short term impact will be minimal, Michael Brunner, CEO of Brunner, told us:
“Jobs is the brand. He is the inventor, the futurist, the visionary, the marketer, he’s the CEO and the showman – all of those things rolled into one. His incredible combination of skills is so rare that his stepping down has to have a serious impact on the brand. You can’t pick another Steve Jobs off the shelf.” Brunner went on to say, “He’s helped to reshape the world and reconfigure how the consumer thinks, reacts, communicates and visualizes. When you talk about all these things, I don’t see how it wouldn’t impact the brand in the negative over the long term.”
With a founder and CEO so integrally tied to Apple and the cultural movement that has followed, we thought it only appropriate to share a recent interview we conducted with Kevin McKeon, ECD of StrawberryFrog. Below, Kevin explains the origin of “cultural movement” as a term, now widely used as a philosophy to engage consumers – something Jobs has done a phenomenal job (no pun intended) of cultivating.
Tell us your thoughts: Will Apple reign supreme in Jobs’ absence?