Saturday, July 12, 2008

Apple iPhone and the Holy Grail of Marketing

On Friday, I was meeting Jon Portillo over at Paradise Bakery at the Biltmore. When I got there, I saw a line wrapping around the shopping center. 'Auditions?' my performer's mind automatically wondered? American Idol, perhaps? Maybe a game show, like Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune. Or maybe they're launching a whole new show! Or maybe there's a gimmick...some radio station giving away something amazing. My mind ran wild.

I ignored the line, and headed into meet Jon. When we found each other, he asked about the line, and admitted he thought the same thing I did. But then said he heard it was a line for the new iPhone. Seriously? Ohhhh yeah. Today was the "Big Day." We decided to hold off on the coffee just a few more minutes to go check out the line. This first picture is what we saw as we walked up to the back of the line.

Jon asked one guy toward the back of the line if he was waiting in line for the iPhone. I asked, "Well, are they giving them away for free or something?" (only half kidding...I've been listening as everyone on Twitter has gone on and on about the iPhone for who knows how long now!) The guy laughed and said, "Uh, no. You have to pay for it," as if I had MY head screwed on wrong. Sorry Buddy, but I'm not the one standing in line for hours to buy something I can just as well go pick up tomorrow. But I digress.
So Jon and I continue on, and here's the next site we see...

Now I am I can't believe all these people who are waiting in line to give their hard earned money to Apple. I'm amazed.

Then we turn the corner, and my amazement turns into outright admiration. Admiration for the Marketing Gurus who orchestrated this amazing accomplishment. Admiration for the CEO's at Apple for having the wisdom to listen to these Marketing Gurus. After all, there are plenty of people in business who don't recognize the true value and importance of marketing. With an "If we build it, they will come" attitude, many would scoff at the elaborate roll out and elaborate budget.

Finally, we find the mecca that all these people are waiting for...the entrance to the Apple store, and their chance to slap down a credit card, sign a 2 year contract with AT&T, and own the latest craze in Technology Nirvana.
And I'll tell ya, these Cutting-Edge techies must be an unruly crowd. Maybe they are expecting some Beatle-Mania type outbreaks, because here in all his glory is one of the security guards charged with keeping the peace. Amazing.

So with my marketing mind fully inspired, Jon and I headed back to Paradise Bakery for that coffee...which ended up being a whole new story. (Turns out, if you order a latte that never makes it to your table, and then you inquire about it 20 minutes later, they'll throw in free cookies for your troubles!)
But the point is, while we may not all have cool products like the iPhone, and maybe we don't have budgets bigger than the GNP of small countries, there's no reason why each of us can't have a line of raving fans waiting to buy from us. And if you want to learn how, then let's talk. I'll meet you over a cup of coffee. I know this great place in the Biltmore area...
Until Next Time,
PS...I figured the Biltmore in Phoenix Arizona wasn't the only place where people were willing to stand in line for hours on end. Turns out I'm right! Check out this great blog done in real time by a guy in New York City who waited in line with countless others!

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