Love it when the AP picks up a story we've been talking about here for months.
How is it that anyone (especially in this economy) can stand in line to plunk down $499-$900 on a brand new iPad when they've never even seen one? Hey, Jessica Mintz, it's simple:
Thanks to the power of the World's Best Marketing Machine (aka Steve Jobs) you simply follow this formula to demonstrate the true power of Apple marketing:
1. Surprise and Delight. Get in a habit of overachieving your own goals. Make what people buy today more powerful tomorrow (think AppStore...not even in sight when people bought their first iPhone) Do that often enough, and you get people to trust you. Or give them rebates when it seems like you took advantage of them for buying too soon. In fact, Apple's current brand trust is ranked #1...but it has been for years.
2. Take the Order. Apple made it easy to gauge demand for iPad and dynamically shifted demand into building the right number and type of iPads. Simply putting up a "Pre-Order" page did the trick. Oh yeah, and circling back and reminding people that their iPad will be waiting for them is a nice touch. UPDATE: April 1 - Apple refunds all rush shipping charges - another way to earn cred!
3. Ship It. Okay, sounds easy, but please...JooJoo (er CrunchPad) all the way back to the Osborne have failed to deliver on their promises. Apple shows it, takes the order, ships it. Or as this earlier post states: "Ship delight. Repeat."
Then goes back and improve it all again. Yes, Apple has made a living on this form of marketing and customer experience. There is no one better.