When Steve Jobs gets on stage to introduce the latest innovations from Apple, the presentation you see is very well rehearsed. Jobs and his team fully understand just how critical Jobs himself is to the Apple brand, and they correctly take that very seriously.
Apple’s understanding of that brand, and the means by which they grow and cultivate its cult status, makes last week’s run-in with a “casual fan” on the Macworld floor all the more perplexing. Jobs, of all people, should know that his brand isn’t allowed to take a public break.
If this encounter had truly been with a random fan, the damage likely could have been contained. Unfortunately, Jobs blew off a very prominent blogger, steps away from one of the tech world’s most popular bloggers who happened to have a video camera at the ready.
Jobs has a reputation for occasional cantankerousness, which is too bad. Small moments can irreparably damage a carefully-crafted, well-considered brand. It’s a good reminder for all of us – for ourselves, our employees and our own brands.