Apple Inspired Thinking By Lisa Cork Two short little stories to tell. A couple of years ago, I happened to be in the AirNZ lounge in Sydney. It was crowded, so you had to share space with people who were already seated. There were two guys sitting next to me and without being impolite, I was hearing snippets of their conversation. “Yeah, it’s a killer; China next week, then Europe, then back to Palo Alto, then South America.” The other gentleman was talking about a similar travel schedule. These guys were young, maybe in their early 30’s and there was no doubt they were in seats 1 and 2 in the pointy nose of the plane. Curiosity got the better of me and I asked, “You guys sound like you travel a lot. What work do you do?” One of the gentlemen was Apple’s global marketing director and the other was the marketing director for Asia-Pacific. They had been in Sydney opening up the new Apple retail store. Funny when they asked me what I did, I said I was also in the apple business – the only difference is my apples sold for a heck of a lot less money! Fast forward to present and I am currently working my way through the Steve Jobs biography. It is a great read – both interesting and inspiring. In describing his comeback, it talks about the re-launch of Apple with him at the helm and the ‘Think Different’ ad campaign they ran. I wanted to share with you the words from the ad, as cited in the book, because they are really inspiring. “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some might see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” I just find those words really inspiring and they resonate with me, in a related way, about how growers and marketers and retailers need to think different about the power of fresh produce…and the hidden potential of fresh produce packaging.
If you believe your packaging and the message you put on your packaging doesn’t matter, then read Steve Job’s bio. He will convince you of the power of making a statement with your packaging. iPod packaging, iPad packaging, iPhone packaging is critical in creating the essence of the product. The book describes how Job’s would agonise for months over basic packaging decisions. Today, we can look back in hindsight and better understand the statement Apple packaging makes. But ten, twelve years ago, many of his colleagues thought him crazy for dealing in that level of detail for something that simply contained the product. While the value of food is much less than an iPod or iPad, big global food companies get that their packaging is important. So I can prove my point, simply stroll down any aisle of your local supermarket. What do you see? You see packaging that talks to you, packaging that sells you on a benefit or a promise, packaging that – both visually and with the use of text – prompts you to buy. Packaged food packaging is heady stuff and there is so much we can learn from it. So, here’s to our industry starting to get its head around the power of fresh produce packaging. Here’s to those of us willing to push boundaries and create produce packaging that makes a difference. Long may food companies push the packaging boundaries…and long may we in produce learn to follow suit. And, if we don’t think fruit has pulling power, just remember the world’s most iconic brand was inspired by a fresh apple.
This article first appeared in Produce Plus Magazine, 2012. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Lisa Cork is a global fresh produce strategist. Through her FreshInsights™ Process and FreshInsights™ Model, She helps growers, produce and horticultural companies create demand and grow value that benefits the bottom line. She is also a passionate an inspirational guest speaker at conferences around the world. For more FreshInsights™, visit: www.lisacork.com or www.freshproductmarketing.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You are encouraged to share and forward this column. Please keep the by-line as written above so others know where to come for more FreshInsights™.