Steve Jobs – The Artful Dodger’s Guide To Crisis Management

Love him or hate him, you just have to give in to the fact that Apple is 99% Steve Jobs and 1% Engineers, marketers and PR put together. The success of Apple as a company, and iPhone/iPad/iPod as products is simply so heavily reliant on the trust that people have on Jobs. He is God, […]

Love him or hate him, you just have to give in to the fact that Apple is 99% Steve Jobs and 1% Engineers, marketers and PR put together. The success of Apple as a company, and iPhone/iPad/iPod as products is simply so heavily reliant on the trust that people have on Jobs. He is God, say some and others (me included) believe in the reality distortion field that seemingly surrounds Jobs.

While that has helped Apple as a company in successfully taking on the various market leaders, it has once again come to the forefront this week when Apple’s brand value was at stake. So how did Steve Jobs use the reality distortion effect to keep the Apple brand spotless? Here is a recap of the various things Jobs said over the past one month.

Late June – when the issue was reported first
“Gripping almost any mobile phone in certain places will reduce its reception. This is true of the iPhone 4, the iPhone 3GS, and many other phones we have tested. It is a fact of life in the wireless world”

Apple Internal Memo- In response to demand for Free bumpers
“We ARE NOT appeasing customers with free bumpers – DON’T promise a free bumper to customers…[And] ONLY escalate if the issue exists when the phone is not held AND you cannot resolve it…Do not perform warranty service.”

Steve Jobs’ success comes from his ability to get the audience swaying to his tunes during presentations – a trait I honestly admire. And that has now helped the company once again in tackling the crisis.

So this is how it rolled out on Friday morning

Step 1 : Speak about the success of your product
Step 2 : Trivialize the issue so much that you start wondering if the issue was actually blown up so much disproportionately
Step 3 : Tell how much you love your customers. How revenues and balance sheets are nothing compared to the love they show you. And how you would throw away anything free just to get them happy. At this point, customers actually start wondering if Apple is doing them a favor by offering a free case to each of these 3 million users even though just 0.5% of the population is affected. This company must be a charity when it comes to customer-love!

So there you go. Imagine how Microsoft would have tackled the same issue.

Step 1 : Agree there is a problem
Step 2 : Offer a free bumper fix as solution

See there, it is not too different, but people would actually come back complaining about how they wouldn’t want a life support case to keep their device running and how Microsoft makes shitty products with an equally awful customer service (who wants a pink bumper on top of a phone that cannot make calls!)

Like I told you earlier – Apple is 99% Steve Jobs and 1% everybody else.