3 Lessons from Steve Jobs on Marketing

BY  Louis M. Morgner
June 27, 2021

I recently came across an old video from Steve Jobs explaining what marketing meant to him and how it impacted his work at Apple. Although this video is from 2013, the principles he talks about are timeless in my opinion. In this short post I want to share with you my key takeaways from Steve Jobs’ advise on marketing. Let’s jump right into it.

#1 Marketing is about values

The first principle he points out is that marketing is all about values. We live in a noisy world nowadays and people are constantly overwhelmed by all the information that is available to them. We as brands don’t get many chances to tell them about who we are and what we do.

What people are interested in is, what we stand for and how we can help them achieve their goals. The question we need to ask ourselves is: Where do we fit in this world?

We can answer that by being sure of our values. What do you believe in as a company?

#2 Your aspirations guide your way

Apple is, up to this day, considered the most valueable brand according to Forbes. But what makes a brand truly remarkable?

When comparing great Brands like Apple, Nike, Disney or Coke, one thing they have in common is that they have aspirations people can relate to.

Whether it is the belief that you can change the world by thinking differently, achieve anything by just doing it or being able to share amazing moments with your friends, great brands convey an aspirational identity people can relate to.

So rather than talking about why your products or services are better than the competition’s, ask yourself: What can people do with your help?

#3 Clear communication is key

The world we live in gets busier every day. Notifications and updates are in the never ending fight for our attention. Since information that is available to us is nearly infinite, it becomes harder for consumer to differentiate the noise from the truly valuable information.

The hard truth we need to accept as brands is that people simply won’t remember much about us. Hence, we need to be extremely clear on what we communicate to customers. Sometimes, less indeed is more.

A question to consider when reflecting on communication as a brand in this noisy world is: What do we want customers to know about us?

Focus on communicating less but better messages that customers can relate to.


The principles Steve Jobs shared with us are, and will be, invaluable to marketers. We can learn a lot when analysing what truly remarkable brands have in common and I believe that every business can benefit from refining their values and communication.

Check out the original video from Steve Jobs on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wK_hxXAYVzA

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