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When you think of Apple what are the words that first come to your head? Creative…innovative…beautiful…artful…sleek?

What generates that kind of response? Think about the ads you see for Apple products of all kinds…it’s a clear message—a right brained creative company designed to appeal on emotion and the “cool factor”.

This kind of strategy can be very effective, as Apple has reported better than expected gains in a difficult year. So why switch…why go away from what is working and what reinforces a strong brand? Because this strategy is also dangerous—clearly there are right brained investors and left brained musicians, graphic designers, and students.

Take a look at these are headlines from just after the iPad launched:

8 Things That Suck About the iPad – Gizmodo
Apple iPad: bashed by bloggers around the web – The Guardian UK
10 Things Netbooks still do better than an iPad – CNET

How much of this negative response is due to the actual product and how much is based on gut reaction to marketing and a hope that this product would be different than other Apple products like the iPod, MacBooks and more? Well, take a look at the marketing that first went into the iPad.

ipod in websiteNotice anything? The iPad is a fun device that allows you to read, interact with friends and be a part of a digital world in a new way. What it doesn’t say is how it actually works and what all that swiping, flicking and surfing actually gets you…it’s no wonder that technology blogs came up with responses like this: “Ridiculous product. Absolutely completely ridiculous.”

So why now, approximately 7 months after its launch, has the iPad sold millions of units with predictions to have 15 million sold by year’s end? Clearly something has changed…and it isn’t the product. Well, take a look at this revised ad from just two months ago.

LB_RB_MarketingThere is a distinct and palpable dually focused message. The iPad still delivers that creativity, social connection, cutting-edge technology that Apple is known for. But, it’s also positioned as scientific, business-like and productive. Pretty left brained thinking…and pretty effective.

Apple got the message loud and clear—products can’t just be cool and they can’t just be coolly focused and logical. The best companies (and individuals) get it and realize that their products and brand need to have a broad appeal that matches a full left brain right brain approach. It’s a holistic approach and one that centers on adaptability, being able to position products in a way that resonates with both sides of the brain

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