Over 400,000 people visited Farnam Street last month to learn howto make better decisions, create new ideas, and avoid stupid errors. With more than 100,000 subscribers to our popular weekly digest, we've become an online intellectual hub. To learn more about we what do, start here.
How Apple Brilliantly Uses a 100-year-old Persuasion Strategy
Apple is perhaps the best company in the world at selling.
This article further explores some of Apples techniques. Specifically, how they take a 100-year-old persuasion technique and embed that into their DNA. Basically—and this is pretty simple—Apple opens up the hood and shows you the work that goes into inventing and creating each individual product.
Consider the video below, where Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design passionately describes, and shows, how the body of each MacBook Pro laptop is carved from a single block of metal. After you watch the video, I’ll point out why it works.
Why does it work?
This strategy works for several reasons:
1. It adds credibility to your claims. When you describe the work that went into creating a product, you are providing supporting evidence for the product’s features. Many breweries were claiming that their beer was pure, but Schlitz was the first to give justification as to why its beer was pure.
2. It is concrete. People struggle to think in terms of abstract concepts. “Pure” is a vague abstract concept, whereas “beer being dripped over frigid pipes in a plate-glass room” is concrete.
3. It tells a story. People respond well to stories. Stories can be considered to be the “native programming language” of the human brain.
4. It gives you something new to say. In some mature markets, it’s hard to think of anything new that can be said about a product. It gives you something to say when the product’s benefits or features are not easily discernible. If you’re selling bottled water or luxury watches, it’s hard for the prospect to discern the benefits—and the benefits themselves aren’t even particularly interesting. The background story can be the most compelling aspect of the product. This leads us to…
5. It can give “romance” to the product. People love to associate objects with romantic pasts. For example, which guitar player would not like to play Jimi Hendrix’s guitar? Don’t underestimate the power of romance in your copy, particularly if you’re selling something that doesn’t have many logical benefits.