Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Kevin Roberts

saatchi roller
Originally uploaded by loop_oh
Just listening to Kevin Roberts on the Knowledge@Wharton podcast.

Some observations:

1. Kevin's accent, like any Brit who's spent some time in NZ then lived in America, is really fun to listen to.

2. He's demonstrated the power of lovemarks by essentially branding observations that anyone could make, and using his own considerable personal charisma.

3. He's made the mistake many make, by thinking that the iPod's success is all about branding. Yet Apple doesn't fit the mould of Lovemarks, which advocates (correctly) that brands need to cede control to the customer. He says people will choose the ipod over other mp3 players because they've mastered sensuality, intimacy and mystery. Tosh. They've dominated the market because they've made it ridiculously easy to put music on your machine, and they've made it look cool. Sensuality, yes, but most of all, I don't have to think when I sync my ipod. That's what gives it initial success in the market; after that it becomes the default term for "mp3 player" ... kind of like Google, and for exactly the same reason. Usability.

That big mistake aside, it's a very interesting interview, both for its content and as a way of studying Kevin's interview style - he's an inspiring communicator. Good story about a Coke machine and a machine gun.

And - of course - some nice words about New Zealand.

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