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Apple, O'Reilly and Branding
by Tim O'Reilly
Dec. 7, 2002
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:
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.
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.
is the founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, Inc., thought by many to be the best computer book publisher in the world. In addition to Foo Camps ("Friends of O'Reilly" Camps, which gave rise to the "un-conference" movement), O'Reilly Media also hosts conferences on technology topics, including the Web 2.0 Summit, the Web 2.0 Expo, the O'Reilly Open Source Convention, the Gov 2.0 Summit, and the Gov 2.0 Expo. 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's long-term vision for his company is to change the world by spreading the knowledge of innovators. In addition to O'Reilly Media, Tim is a founder of Safari Books Online, a pioneering subscription service for accessing books online, and O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, an early-stage venture firm.
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