I’ve been doing a good deal of thinking about the “storied” success of Apple, Steve Jobs legacy, and how it relates to our industry and the Alliance Group’s purpose and belief.
Steve Jobs was not a computer software programmer. He dropped out of Reed College after one semester and cofounded Apple in 1976. I suspect he quickly realized that everyone in the personal computer industry was designing a product that looked similar and pretty much did the same thing in the same way. All PC’s worked on the same operating system with similar keyboards and “buttons. Perhaps the consumer wants something different, he thought; something more attractive to look at; something more user friendly and simpler to work; something faster and lighter. In other word something different that reflected what the buyer really desired. He was a visionary.
He may have concluded that if everyone is doing and creating the exact same thing, Apple is going to think differently. I imagine him thinking we’ll develop product that the consumer really wants, give it a cool name (Mac) and promote it with an advertising campaign that speaks to their imagination and dreams. That is how we will distinguish ourselves from all the others.
When asked “what” business Apple was in, I suspect he did not merely say “we make computers with some interesting features.” I’m sure he turned the question from “what they did” to WHY they did it. He just sensed that the customer wanted something special, something that was new. He just thought differently. Jobs knew what their customer desired, and why they would stand on line for hours to be the first to buy one.
I believe that there are similarities to how Alliance has approached the life insurance industry, the products people really want, and the peace of mind they are seeking. There are hundreds of companies marketing products that are in many ways the same. The primary and sometimes only benefit is delivered when the customer dies. Most consumers see “life” insurance, especially Term Life, as simply providing a death benefit. It’s death insurance allowing you to leave a legacy after you’re gone. There is nothing wrong with that. But Steve Jobs might have concluded that if you are going to call it LIFE insurance you might want to include actual LIVING BENEFITS that reflect what occurs when life actually happens such as prolonged chronic and critical illness; that access to the “death benefit” may be more urgently needed NOW to possibly extend or save the insured’s life and the family’s well-being.
We all know such things happen, so Alliance always thinks differently when designing proprietary solutions that provide the peace of mind and ability to survive many of the financial and emotional challenges faced on life’s journey. Like Apple, it is the WHY we do what we do that distinguishes us from the others.
At the Alliance Group “living benefits” and thinking differently are a way of life.
An original article written by Rick Drazien for the Fall 2011 issue of Living Edge