Last week, at an annual corporate meeting in Detroit, Ad Age won the Crain Cup, given to a brand within Crain Communications that has introduced a particularly innovative product over the past year. Part of our prize included a traveling Stanley-Cup-style trophy and we were charged to come up with a short phrase to be engraved on it to inspire other future winners of the honor. After much debate, we borrowed a little inspiration from Steve Jobs: Think Different(ly). (Hey, we're grammarians.)
Now, we know we're no Apple, but we thought the tie-in to a famous advertising tagline was befitting Ad Age and, frankly, it's what we are trying to do with our business. And we hoped it would inspire other media brands in years to come.
We also weren't the first to borrow a little wisdom from Steve. It was his ability to "think different" -- Mr. Jobs' skill of seeing things others didn't -- that set him apart from many of his peers. He saw the importance of design as a differentiator; he understood the importance of a superlative user experience, from the "unboxing" moment on; he foresaw new ways to shop for technology -- and use technology in the retail experience. Most of all, he seemed to understand the importance of a good story, whether it was unveiling the latest, thinnest iPod or introducing a new computing brand in one of his iconic ads.
So tell us, how have you been inspired by Steve Jobs? What have you learned from perhaps the world's greatest marketer? And how will you remember him?