For the first time in recorded history, Apple has released something I’m not lathered up about buying. Looks like I’m not alone. The Apple Watch suffered a 90% drop in sales since it’s April 2015 launch, says Slice Intelligence. I suspect that’s because something is missing from the Apple Watch. Is it missing from your messaging too?
The elephant in the Apple Watch numbers
Apple is built on disruption. The iPod disrupted the music industry. The iPad disrupted laptops. The iPhone disrupted mobile phones. All this disruption traces back to one thing these devices have in common: A Killer App.
A Killer App, is “any computer program that is so necessary or desirable that it proves the core value of some larger technology.” What Killer App dwells within the Apple Watch?
Save yourself the time; there’s no compelling killer app reason to strap on an Apple Watch. Design might spark desire, but it isn’t driving sales. Most Apple Watch apps are glorified remotes for iPhone apps that are tucked way far away in your pocket. Not a killer.
So, what does this have to do with growing business?
Your brand needs what the Apple Watch lacks
Disruptive growth happens when your business delivers what a Killer App delivers: something so necessary and desirable that it proves your brand’s core value to customers.
It’s easier than you may think.
Cheap Beer’s Killer Branding App
When Molson introduced Keystone Beer in 1989, their killer branding app was a special coating in their cans preventing beer from interacting with the can, thereby delivering “bottled beer taste in a can.” Sounds cool, eh? Why didn’t every company think of that?
Every company did. As it turns out every can of beer was, and is, lacquered to provide a barrier between the beer and the can. Keystone simply decided to claim ownership and make an industry standard their own killer branding app.
Lucky Strike’s Killer Branding App
Don Draper famously uncovered a killer branding app in Lucky Strike cigarettes during an episode of Mad Men. Since every cigarette company was barred from advertising “health benefits” of smoking, Lucky Strike—and every other cigarette maker—was left without a message.
Where’s the killer branding app when every company makes the same thing? Don demonstrates how to find one:
For the record, Lucky Strike really did use “It’s Toasted.” Unfortunately for Draper, Percival S. Hill, President of American Tobacco suggested it in 1917—years before Draper would have been born.
Neither Lucky Strike nor Keystone had to create something new or change their business. They simply leveraged what they had. They identified something desirable and/or necessary that proved the value of their brand.
Create your own Killer Branding App
Creating a killer branding app is a process that takes my team weeks to complete. But, there’s a key to help find yours nestled within the definition above: necessary or desirable.
Which qualities or attributes make necessary and/or desirable what customers buy from you? Does it prove the value of your overall brand? These answers will guide you in taking the first steps toward crafting a Killer Branding App of your own.
Don Draper made it look easy in Mad Men. Sometimes it is. More likely, though, you’ll go through several options before winding up with that one thing that qualifies as your killer branding app.
Even if you don’t disrupt your business category, going through this process will help give your brand purpose. That’s something even Apple struggles with from time to time.
Hi Charlie, I really enjoyed reading this post on Killer Apps. Well said!