Just like comedy, the first rule of marketing is timing. I have no doubt that Steve Chazin and David Meerman Scott both know this. They are the authors of the book & blog MarketingApple (Mr. Chazin is a marketing exec there, so doubtless he knows whereof he speaks on the topic.)
Sadly it wasn’t until the week of what they call the iPology that they started posting regularly to the blog and the press and greater Blogistania tarted to take note. (Love the word iPology. Don’t know if they coined it but it was the first time I saw it.) What are you gonna do? The September 2001 issue cover story in the Atlantic was — if I recall correctly — “The High Cost Of Peace.” Ouch.
The iPhone kerfuffle will soon be forgotten and Apple and the blog will go on, but I’m sure they Chazin & Meerman were even more unhappy about last week’s events than many others at company HQ.
It’s not just anybody who can take the most successful product release in years and figure out a way to turn it into a total PR disaster. Not for nothing is the man lauded as an innovator.
For reasons that no one quite understands, yesterday Apple cut the price of the Jesus Phone by $200. While Mr. Jobs’ explanation was that this was to increase sales during the holidays some found this about as believable as the latest rationale for start of the George W. Bush Desert Classic.
Yeah, I didn’t understand it either. If it’s selling well at $600 why cut the price? The other rational explanation besides desperation is Mr. J senses a downturn in the economy but if the economy hits the skids who really will be dropping four bills on a phone? (Note well: I WANT ONE! Two friends of mine have them and I am losing my mind with envy.)
But that little question of why the price drop has of course now been totally eclipsed by angry iPhone buyers who are asking why they had to pay the full fare on the darn thing.
Mr J. released a statement yesterday apologizing to them:
That would be more touching if Apple had ANY track record of actually engaging in customer service. My theory about Apple has always been that they make their products so user-friendly because they never want to deal with the customers again. (And I speak as a mostly content iPod owner.)
My hat is off to the marketing department at Nokia for moving quickly and taking advantage of all the kerfuffle.