Since the passing of Steve Jobs a little over eight months ago, the marketing world has held its breath in anticipation. Nobody did brand management like Jobs, and it’s safe to say that we were all wondering if Apple still had “it.” Jobs and his team had a particularly uncanny ability to turn a little press conference into a highly-anticipated, rock-concert type of event. This week marked Apple’s first Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) since Jobs’ death, and it’s safe to say that Apple can still throw one hell of a press event.
Apple put big smiles on its developers faces on Monday when it announced a total refresh to its complete line of notebooks. Every Mac laptop is getting a makeover, new software and, of course, a higher price tag. The Next Generation Notebook is the one totally new product Apple announced at the WWDC. Described as a mash-up of the MacBookPro and MacBookAir, this new notebook will be a must-have for brand enthusiasts and graphics pros — or at least those who are willing to shell out the $2,199 to make it happen. Other newsworthy items included the announcement of Mountain Lion, the new OS6, Siri coming to iPad and Apple’s foray into digital mapping (a la Google Maps). Naturally, the tech elite griped about Apple not announcing other newsworthy items from the brand (Apple TV, for example) and to non-computer types, the whole affair is a yawn-inducing one, indeed.
But none of that is really the point. Even without the savvy and brilliant marketing moxie of Steve Jobs behind the brand, Apple continues to fascinate. No other company could live stream its press conference and have thousands of viewers tune it. Apple then uses digital engagement (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) to keep the buzz going. Consumers, journalists and bloggers alike watch this stuff like they watch a sporting event. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve drunk the Apple Kool-Aid, it just can’t be denied that this is a company that knows exactly what its following wants.