Steve Jobs Turned Around Apple's Fortunes 27 Years Ago, Not By Making Mac Better Than Windows, But By Using This Technique Nike Is Known For

Steve Jobs brought Apple Inc. back from the brink in the late 90s, engineering a turnaround that would one day help make it a trillion-dollar company. Among the several measures he undertook to save Apple was something that was very close to his heart – marketing.

Jobs, known for his marketing nous, focused on the values of what he wanted Apple to be known for rather than pushing details of the product to prospective buyers.

"When I got here, Apple just fired their agency," Jobs recalled an incident in an old speech. He added that the company had screened 23 other agencies to select one four months later.

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Apple and the newly hired agency then set down to create an ad that would go on to win an award.

The core idea? Here's how Jobs described it: "Our customers want to know who is Apple and what it is that we stand for. Where do we fit in this world?"

Focus On Values

Jobs' idea was to focus on Apple's values, not its products. "We're something more than that," he said.

When Jobs came back to Apple, the company was on the brink of bankruptcy and suffered from "neglect," as the company's co-founder put it.

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To bring it back "is not to talk about bits and megahertz, it's not to talk about why we're better than Windows."

He gave an example of Nike Inc. and how it has marketed itself as a brand. "What does Nike do in their advertising? They honor great athletes and they honor great athletics. That's who they are, that's what they are about."

Jobs managed to save Apple and rejuvenate the company with one iconic new product after the other, changing multiple industries forever. It began with the iPod and iTunes, and perhaps the biggest crowning jewel in Apple's and Jobs' history, the iPhone in 2007.

Apple is now the second largest company in the world by market capitalization, at $2.927 trillion. Its market capitalization is higher than the gross domestic product of 181 countries, according to the latest data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF.)

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Photo courtesy: Anthony Sigalas on Flickr

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