Apple: Where no news is still headline news

apple-product-announcementWell, Apple has done it again. Once more they released a vague statement and received an incredible amount of almost completely free PR. Back in August, Apple began sending out media invitations to a “special event” schedule for September 9. What would it be? They “couldn’t say more.” Of course, “everyone” assumed it would be the release of the new iPhone 6, but the company steadfastly played dumb while everyone lost their minds. Scores of reports across major news networks, segments replaying and dissecting the few actual commercials Apple released, guesses and prognostication and predictions galore. An entire cottage industry of blogs and gurus was created simply to talk about what Apple refused to talk about. How do they do it?

Sure, it’s easy to say they’ve earned it. Apple has been masterful in their PR presentation since Jobs was on the job. Using hype, unique products and a heavy dose of exclusive branding, Apple created a culture of fans by being completely different … but also knowing exactly how to appeal to those they targeted.

The lesson here is in style, not function. It’s about creating anticipation and parlaying that emotion into mad amounts of free publicity.

And anticipation wears many faces. Sure there will be the die-hards who will buy any new toy with an Apple logo on it. But there are many others who are after certain features and benefits that Apple currently doesn’t offer. It’s no secret that Apple is losing market share to Samsung and their deliciously large touchscreens. So, when it came time to start the iPhone rumor mill, one of the first things “leaked” was the projected larger screen. Up to 5.5 inches some said.

That little tidbit ignited a firestorm of conversation. Would it happen? Is it better? Does size really matter? Was it enough? Not enough? Talk. Talk. Talk. Talk. Talk…

And then there were the “outsider” predictions. The less obvious bets made by purported technology industry insiders who “knew” months ago that the actual big announcement would be the long anticipated “iWatch.” Apple was more than happy to feed these rumors too.

Then all they had to do was sit back and let the anticipation build.

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