Ken Segall, former Apple creative director, advertising veteran, and one-time ally of Steve Jobs, is worried that Apple is losing some of its personality under CEO Tim Cook.
Segall, who was responsible for some of Apple’s definitive campaigns such as “Think Different” as well as the name iMac, reveals how Steve Jobs was obsessed with creating an aura that made people “lust” for his products in a new interview with The Telegraph.
Segall believes that this feeling has been waining under Tim Cook’s leadership over the past several years. He believes that Apple’s failure to take advantage of customer loyalty through “emotional marketing campaigns” will soon become an issue for the Cupertino company as it readies itself for a cooling market.
“These days, Apple does a different campaign for a different phone which I always thought was a lost opportunity,” says Segall. “They should be building a personality for the phone, a thing that people might want to be part of because it rises above the features of the moment.
“That is the challenge, when you are in a more mature category and the feature differences are significantly less, how do you advertise something like that? That is where the skill of the marketer comes into play,” continues Segall.
Segall suggests that Apple’s current CEO might be playing it safe in terms of marketing strategy. “Tim Cook goes by recommendation of the people around him,” he said, adding that those people were “a little vanilla.” Segall continued: “In a big company environment people tend to get safer … In the old days, Apple used to do things that get a lot of attention.”
Segall mentions that Apple’s loyal iPhone following might begin to “think twice” about purchasing the next model. Apple has recently focused its marketing campaigns on single features, such as the “Shot on iPhone” series.
“They should be building a personality for the phone,” he said, “a thing that people might want to be part of because it rises above the features of the moment.” Segall believes this would help Apple rise above the competition at a time when smartphone sales are slowing.