"So how does the 3-way [between marketing, sales and PR] play out? The computing industry offers a near perfect case study. Apple is as pure a marketing-led company as you can hope to find. Microsoft breathes sales. And Google is entirely a PR-constructed narrative.
"Apple is led by a guy who likes himself to the point that he doesn’t care at all what others think about him. And his customers are all people who like themselves too. The best piece of evidence is probably the Mac vs. PC ads. The entire campaign was about self-perceptions. The product-focused ads? They sell to self-perceptions and personal identities as well. Their effectiveness relies on people knowing that they strongly prefer highly visual and tactile interfaces. The archetypical Apple customer is so well-defined that he or she is practically a caricature: a dancing hipster with eclectic musical tastes who drives certain types of cars.
"Which is why Microsoft’s response was so effective in turn. Rather than accept the self-perception/identity based framing, they reframed the contest. The entire “I am a PC” was highly personal. You get faux-real people with names and faces. Not actors modeling abstract Claritas PRIZM psychographic personas. And Microsoft’s entire selling strategy is sales-driven: OEM partnerships, large enterprise sales, institutional channel partnerships and the like; it’s all 1:1 work. We all know you can only buy Macs at certain prices from a few places. Microsoft software? You are a complete sucker if you routinely pay sticker price. If you can’t find a deal through your company or school, you are subsidizing the rest of us. The “likes other people” bit is also at work. Most Microsoft people I’ve met tend to be friendly, down-to-earth and dressed-down (one sales guy I met wore a suit but carried a backpack; a bit of gaucherie that would probably invite a death sentence in an Apple store). Spend five minutes talking to any Microsoft rep, and they will have ruefully, but confidently acknowledged and laughed at Microsoft’s brand image issues, and made sure you like them even if you don’t like Microsoft. Interacting with Apple people in an Apple store on the other hand, is a slightly intimidating experience, like shopping at an upscale clothing store.
"And what about Google? They don’t advertise. They know your name and everything about you but they don’t even attempt to personalize or customize your experience. Instead they spread stories about great buffets, whiteboards with “Don’t Be Evil” scribbled on them, and how Brin and Page insist on less than 7 +/- 2 items on the Google home page. They make sure that every geek knows that in PageRank, it is Page as in Larry, not as in Web. Every marketer recoils in horror at a brand name being commoditized into the category name (Asprin, Kleenex, Xerox). But Google doesn’t care that Google has become a generic verb. Unlike marketing and sales brand equity, PR brand equity is amplified when a brand becomes the category generic name. And perhaps the most compelling evidence of Google’s PR-driven culture? They mangle their logo every chance they get (know any other major brand that allows this?), to reflect PR opportunities."
It ends with some recommendations for how to communicate effectively which I think are interesting and useful.
(The about the author paragraph next to the picture of the author can safely be ignored).
Have you tried any of these: "Try searching “Tilt,” “Anagram” (the page will ask, “Did you mean nag a ram”?) or “Do a Barrel Roll,” or “Let it Snow.”
I liked "Do a Barrel Roll" the best.
"I speak from experience. I grew up in the 60s and 70s, the age of television. I was trained to be bored; boredom was cultivated within me like a precious crop. (It has been said that consumer society wants to condition us to feel bored, since boredom creates a market for stimulation.) It took me years to discover — and my nervous system will never fully adjust to this idea; I still have to fight against boredom, am permanently damaged in this respect — that having nothing to do doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The alternative to boredom is what Whitman called idleness: a passive receptivity to the world.
"So it is with the current generation’s experience of being alone. That is precisely the recognition implicit in the idea of solitude, which is to loneliness what idleness is to boredom. Loneliness is not the absence of company, it is grief over that absence. The lost sheep is lonely; the shepherd is not lonely. But the Internet is as powerful a machine for the production of loneliness as television is for the manufacture of boredom. If six hours of television a day creates the aptitude for boredom, the inability to sit still, a hundred text messages a day creates the aptitude for loneliness, the inability to be by yourself." - William Deresiewicz
Excerpted from http://chronicle.com/article/The-End-of-Solitude/3708
"Morlocks, who have the energy and intelligence to comprehend details, go out and master complex subjects and produce Disney-like Sensorial Interfaces so that Eloi can get the gist without having to strain their minds or endure boredom."
Excerpt from Neal Stephenson's In the Beginning ... was the Command Line
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