Learn Why Steve Jobs Stressed On ‘First Impressions Matter’ With Apple

16 September 2022

[Video Transcript]  

First Impressions Matter

Insights From 'Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography' by Walter Isaacson


One thing Steve Jobs learned from marketing wiz Mike Markkula was that though people are repeatedly told not to, they are naturally inclined to judge a book by its cover.

In a one-page paper titled 'The Apple Marketing Philosophy', Markkula wrote "We may have the best product, the highest quality, the most useful software, etc; if we present them in a slipshod manner, they will be perceived as slipshod."

It was the act of opening the box that would set the tone for how a customer perceived a product.

Before the first Macintosh launch of 1984, Jobs made his team redo the box 50 times.

"It was going to be thrown into the trash as soon as the consumer opened it," Alain Rossman, a member of the Mac team recalled, "but he was obsessed by how it looked".

He was so obsessed, in fact, that Apple has patented several of its box designs including those for the iPod and the iPhone.

No wonder, the excitement of unboxing an Apple product has been compared to that of opening a jewellery box.

The products always come in well-crafted boxes, with the gadget nestling perfectly in a specially designed case.

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This is because Apple treats the process of unpacking not as something functional, but as a ritual.

This attention to external detail extended to the Apple Stores that launched in 2001 with all the trappings of any high-end brand.

And the strategy worked.

Gateway stores, which sold consumer electronics, saw an average footfall of 250 people per week.

By 2004, Apple Stores averaged 5400 walk-ins a week.

In July 2011, a decade after the first one opened, there were 326 Apple Stores with an average annual revenue of 34 million dollars.

Much as you'd like to believe that the first impression is not the last impression, it is certainly significant.

And that's something that's worth remembering at all times whether you're selling a product or simply getting on a video call with potential clients especially in the age of work from home.

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