Comparing apples to… well, anything.

I rely heavily on my Blackberry and even after a couple of years I’m still amazed what it can do. But, if my cellular service, which all my friends and family are on, offered Apple’s iPhone as an option, I’d switch in a heartbeat.

This is because, consistent with Apple’s culture, they have once again created something extraordinary. Apple not only creates extraordinary products and services, they also do a great job in messaging and marketing them.

I found a great example below of how Apple thinks differently in their approach to messaging. Here’s a common and versatile piece of corporate communication called a boilerplate, usually found at the end of a press release, but it can also come in handy any time you need to convey what your organization does. This example shows typical execution of a boilerplate and a comparison of how Apple solved the same problem, differently.

If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to create a boilerplate for your organization. You can use all the previous blog work we’ve done, such as communicating your value and creating your brand list to inspire your thinking.

Just for the record, I didn’t set out to highlight Ernst & Young for the example below. I searched on Google for “Corporate Boilerplates” and this was the first one I clicked on. If you do the same search, you will find this example is consistent with most corporate communication examples.

About Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 130,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential. Ernst & Young refers to the global organization of member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited does not provide services to clients.

Ernst & Young South Africa is a company comprising 153 directors and a staff complement of over 2000 in offices throughout the country. Ernst & Young South Africa has made significant progress with its transformation and is the leader amongst the Big Four with 53% of its staff and 28% of its ownership being black, 52% of its total staff being female and 28% female ownership. The South African company is also Top Ten Ranked in the Corporate Research Foundation’s Best Employer 2007 survey as well as the winner of the Foundation’s Best Companies to Work For in South Africa 2006 survey.

I don’t know about you, but I find that hard to get through. Now, compare this to Apple’s boilerplate from March 2007.

About Apple
Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning desktop and notebook computers, OS X operating system, and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and will enter the mobile phone market this year with its revolutionary iPhone.

Apple has a lot to convey, because they have created a lot of stuff, still their boilerplate is about half the length of the previous example. Also, it’s is simple conversational, dynamic and consistent with their brand personality.

I hope this helps you and your company travel down the same successful path as Apple. I would love to hear how you do. As always, please share any comments or questions. I look forward to talking to you again in a few days.



~ by Rich on January 18, 2009.

4 Responses to “Comparing apples to… well, anything.”

  1. Ooooh, I like this, Rich! Really good illustration of a message that conveys meaning, not merely information. Thanks.

  2. Rich,
    May I ask that you include Bo on your list of subscribers at the eMail address below.
    Thank you,
    Buddy Baxter

  3. Great! I’m really glad you like it.
    Thanks for the feedback!

  4. Rich,

    I like this post a lot. Very insightful. I observed that the Ernst & Young boilerplate seems more like a mission statement as opposed to Apple’s concise representation of what they do, not how they intend to go about it.


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