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Apple, O'Reilly and Branding

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Tim O'Reilly
Dec. 07, 2002 08:45 AM
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Sara Winge, O'Reilly's VP of Corporate Communications, just sent me a pointer to a nice Wired article about Apple. She was particularly struck by the section that described Apple's "emotional brand":

As quoted in the article, Marc Gobe, author of the book Emotional Branding, says emotional brands have three things in common:

  • The company projects a humanistic corporate culture and a strong corporate ethic, characterized by volunteerism, support of good causes or involvement in the community. Nike blundered here. Apple, on the other hand, comes across as profoundly humanist. Its founding ethos was power to the people through technology, and it remains committed to computers in education. "It's always about people," Gobe said.

  • The company has a unique visual and verbal vocabulary, expressed in product design and advertising: This is true of Apple. Its products and advertising are clearly recognizable.
  • The company has established a "heartfelt connection" with its customers. This can take several forms, from building trust to establishing a community around a product.
As Sara pointed out in an email to me, these are very much the same things that O'Reilly aspires to with our brand. This is why it's so very sweet that O'Reilly and Apple have come together around Mac OS X.

Tim O'Reilly is the founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media Inc. Considered by many to be the best computer book publisher in the world, O'Reilly Media also hosts conferences on technology topics, including the O'Reilly Open Source Convention, Strata: The Business of Data, the Velocity Conference on Web Performance and Operations, and many others. Tim's blog, the O'Reilly Radar "watches the alpha geeks" to determine emerging technology trends, and serves as a platform for advocacy about issues of importance to the technical community. Tim is also a partner at O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, O'Reilly's early stage venture firm, and is on the board of Safari Books Online, PeerJ, Code for America, and Maker Media, which was recently spun out from O'Reilly Media. Maker Media's Maker Faire has been compared to the West Coast Computer Faire, which launched the personal computer revolution.

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