You Seriously Want To Be Like Apple, GM?

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
you seriously want to be like apple gm

If I would have a dollar , euro, yen for each time a marketer says “we want to be the next Apple,” I’d be rich by now and could stop writing.

As you see, I am forced to continue.

Apple appears to be the brand to emulate. But everybody thinks they saw it first. The last to do so was Joel Ewanick, Chief Marketing Officer of GM. He was lured away from Hyundai, because he was the man with the ideas. Now what is he doing? He joins the long line of marketing managers who just want their brand to be like Apple.

Joel, take a number:

Shall we go on?

London’s Daily Mail, assisted by the Bishop of Buckingham, thinks it knows what marketers want when they want to be like Apple: Blind faith. It’s the wet dream of every marketer:

“The desire for iPods and iPads can occasionally border on the religious. An MRI scan of an Apple fanatic’s brain has found the same part lit up as a believer’s did when they gazed upon religious imagery.”

The Daily Mail is not the only to complain. “We so often hear ‘we want to be like Apple or Google,’ the success stories of today,” writes Forbes. Forbes has a less complicated explanation for the lust for Apples. Forbes says it’s pure nostalgia:

“Production lines hummed and capitalism flourished. Millions of Americans literally bought into the American dream, enjoying new levels of comfort and security. Diligent workers toiled on production lines or equally mechanized corporate machines.

This was the time of BIG things in the US. Big government, big population growth, big ambitions and big civic construction projects sprang up.

In truth, it was a time when the world’s biggest economy was then a young, dynamic, fast growing market.”

It also was the time when things like the Apple computer were invented. By hippies in a garage. While lusting for Apples, we secretly want the boom times of the boomers back. But you can’t just say “I want to be Apple,” and the paradise lost comes trotting back. Continues Forbes:

“Fast forward to 2011, America now competes in a fierce global market against young and dynamic economies. New companies emerge as world leaders such as India’s Tata, and new brands take top spot like China’s Snow Beer which is now the biggest selling beer in the world.

In addition to this, the US is suffering from a seriously stalled economy, job losses, and corporate giants losing their way. To top it off, in many parts of the world Brand America is now viewed with alarming degrees of vehemence.”

Don’t try to be like Apple. The secret to branding is to create ye olde Unique Selling Proposition. You don’t want to emulate a produce department of wannabe Apples. Not unless you have read and observed that other USP when taking medications. It’s not THOSE tablets we are after.

You don’t want to be like Apple, GM. Apples rot if left unsold for a few weeks.

You want to be the biggest, baddest, and most successful car company in the universe.

For that, you need something simple, yet hard:

You want your own good ideas.

Or in the words of another trite but true campaign:

You don’t want to be like Apple. Try harder.

Join the conversation
2 of 73 comments
  • Fincar1 Fincar1 on Aug 15, 2011

    What NulloModo said: "It’s a lot easier to reach new customers who have never had any experience with you than it is to regain customers who you’ve had and lost because of bad experiences." And I'll add another comment...Bertel, there may come a day when you are rich and don't have to write, but I suspect that won't mean that you'll stop writing.

  • Eldard Eldard on Aug 18, 2011

    If anything, Apple is like BMW and vice versa. Both are very good at marketing to the gullible.

  • Secret Hi5 Cream of mushroom interior looks good. Impractical for families and denim jeans wearers.
  • Matt Posky Hot.
  • Lou_BC Murilee is basically correct on the trim levels. People tend to refer to Ford's full-sized cars as "Galaxie 500" or "Galaxie's" even though that's just the mid level trim. I was never a fan of the '69 snout or any of the subsequent models. The vacuum controlled headlight covers typically failed. It was a heavy clunky system also found on the Mercury's like the Cougar. The XL's and LTD's could be purchased with factory bucket seats and a center console with a large shifter, similar to the type of throttle on an airplane. The late 60's era Ford cars had coil springs in the rear which rode nice. The shape of the fender wells did not lend themselves to fitting larger tires. The frame layout carried on to become the underpinnings of the Panther platform. I noticed that this car came with disc brakes in the front. There was a time when disc's were an upgrade option from drum brakes. Ford's engines of similar displacement are often assumed as being from the same engine families. In '69 the 429 was the biggest engine which was in the same family as the 460 (385 series). It was a true big block. In 1968 and earlier, the 428, 427, 390's typically found in these cars were FE block engines. The 427 side oiler has always been the most desired option.
  • Drew8MR Minivans are expensive new if you are just buying them for utility. Used minivans are often superfund sites in back compared to the typical barely used backseats in a lot of other vehicles and you aren't going to get a deal just because everything is filthy, broken and covered in spilled food and drink.
  • Arthur Dailey This is still the only 'car' show that our entire family enjoys. This is not Willie Mays with the Mets style of decline. More like Gretzky with the Blues. It may not be their 'best' work but when it works the magic is still there.