if you need a reminder about what brands should do, here you go

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I swear I had the intentions not to write anything about the passing of Steve Jobs.  It’s not because I didn’t want to chime in, but frankly there has been no shortage of articles, blog write-ups, interviews, tributes or top-ten lists about him.  I’m not bagging that content; it should be out there for good reason – Jobs’ impact was undeniable and likely inimitable.  I just didn’t know what else needed to be said.

But then I saw this picture (which was taken in front of the Apple store in the Minneapolis Uptown neighborhood) posted last week and it hit me.  If you want to be a great business person or a great marketer, this picture symbolizes the impact that we should strive toward. We may never get there, but it can represent our north star.

Brand marketers: how about we take a pledge?  Let’s do away with the empty talk about how our companies want to “move beyond transactions” and “build relationships” with their customers.  Let’s drop silly phrases like the need to “humanize the brand.”  (Shameless plug: check out my friend Spike’s funny take on this in his latest video entry for Social Fresh.)  Instead, let’s aspire to have kick-ass products that make use of jaw dropping design and try to provide amazing experiences.  No matter how our jobs differ by company or industry, these can be the evergreen tenets for our work.

Rest in peace Mr. Jobs.  You didn’t just raise the bar, you blew it out of the sky.

(Photo courtesy of Todd O’Dowd.)

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