Apple plans to do just that this morning, opening their annual MacWorld in San Francisco just as the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) opens in Las Vegas.
A Different Strategy
It's not just a geographic strategy. Apple continues to differentiate themselves from their competitors on a number of fronts.
First, creating and branding your own event alludes to a sense that the competition doesn't exist. As if to imply Apple and their products are a category unto themselves.
And whereas the term, "Consumer Electronics" sounds like a demographic statistical subhead, "MacWorld" evokes a verb-infused sense of interactivity, learning and adventure.
Plus, launching your new product line from a distant locale, staged just for you, buys increased media exposure. At your event, you're it. No competition. Not even from a casino.
And there's Apple's commitment to user experience over added feature sets, and austere and utilitarian form factors in lieu of over-embellished product design.
Innovative Isolation for Incentive
But innovative claims are one thing. Actually being a successful innovator is what makes Apple's isolationist theory work. You won't draw much media attention if you can't deliver the goods. Like Joe Namath's guaranteed win over the heavily favored Colts created additional incentive for the Jets to succeed, throwing an event like MacWorld pushes Apple to stay current, unique and in demand.
Whether Apple discloses information about the iTV, releases a Mac OS X Leopard announcement, unveils a next generation iPod, or the iPod cell phone, one thing is certain, Apple has set itself apart.
On the heels of an uber-successful 2006, Steve Jobs' keynote speech at MacWorld will be followed very closely over at CES. When you develop and launch products as innovative and profitable as Apple's, consumers, media and industry titans alike want to know what's next — or at least want to pretend they couldn't care less.
Differentiating Entails Differentiation
Although most businesses don't enjoy Apple's wherewithal and brand equity, it is important to remember the fundamentals that have propelled Apple's recent success. This year look for innovative ways to differentiate your brand(s) from that of your competition. Isolate a bit, differentiate a lot and steal the show in 2007."