"Less is better" is a marketing ethos, but it begins with technology that naturally requires less fuss and better experience
A few weeks ago I was at dinner with a couple of friends who had recently bought new iPhones and, as a result, our conversation became distinctly one-sided. I spent the evening talking. They spent the night looking into their new phones.
This fixation is common in my world, where marketing and ad agency personnel seem disproportionately devoted to iPhones, iPods, and iPads. Marketing execs frequently look to Apple as the epitome of a strong brand, one that has both fostered a deep sense of coolness and forged undying loyalty from its customers. But these same branding experts who work so hard to duplicate Apple's success in their own work often miss the real source of Apple's success.
When you hear some marketers talk about Apple, you hear about emotive benefits associated with the brand: the cool design aesthetic, the imagery in the advertising, and the sense of community evoked by seeing people you respect with Apple products. This glosses over the product's most important trait: functionality. Using an Apple product feels so natural, so intuitive, so transparent, that sometimes, even people paid to know what makes products great completely miss the cause of their addiction to Apple products. It's the natural, intuitive transparency of the technology. The superlative product experience comes from an unusual combination of human and technical understanding, and it creates the foundation of all the other positive aspects of the brand.