The passing of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs presents us with one of the most intriguing branding questions of our generation. Can Apple continue to be perceived as the great innovator, the “must have” products that have changed not only an industry, but the way we live?
According to this morning’s mainstream media, Apple has so much momentum now that Jobs’ absence won’t really be felt for quite some time. Consider, however, that Apple, one of the world’s most recognizable brands along with Coke and McDonalds, is a publicly traded company. Wall Street, and the consumer, both have very short attention spans. And Tim Cook, who made his first public appearance announcing the iPhone 4S just a day before Jobs died, has the weight of the world – and even more – the weight of one of the world’s most recognized, most beloved, most admired brands squarely on his shoulders.
Let’s hope Apple keeps on innovating. Let’s hope creative visionaries like Jobs, not bean counters and knock-off artists, continue to shape our world and build brands.