As part of its IPO filing last week, it was revealed that social networking giant Facebook had hired Rebecca Van Dyck as its head of global marketing. An interesting hire, to be sure, given that we haven’t seen much advertising from Facebook over the past few years.
Before joining Facebook, Van Dyck was employed at Levi’s and before that at Apple – which she joined in January 2007 – where she had a hand in the marketing behind the iPhone, iPad, and iPod.
Talking about the lessons learned while working at Apple, Van Dyck explained in an interview with AdAge that the user experience is always paramount.
[The iPhone] was something created from the outside in, by how it felt to the consumer and the user experience going through it. He gave it to the engineers and said, ‘Make it fit in there.’ It was first and foremost about the user experience. And that’s how I approach marketing, that theme of focusing on the user experience and what’s important to the customer.
Apple also taught Ms. Van Dyck that her customers don’t differentiate between analog and digital experiences. “The checkout process at an Apple store is phenomenal,” she said. “You’re not there thinking ‘That was a great technology experience. ‘You’re thinking that was a great experience.’ That’s our goal for everything that we do.”
Recently, Adam Lashinsky’s book, Inside Apple, explained the degree to which Apple even takes package design seriously, with the ultimate goal always being to enhance the user experience.
To fully grasp how seriously Apple executives sweat the small stuff, consider this: For months, a packaging designer was holed up in this room performing the most mundane of tasks – opening boxes.
One after another, the designer created and tested an endless series of arrows, colors, and tapes for a tiny tab designed to show the consumer where to pull back the invisible, full-bleed sticker adhered to the top of the clear iPod box. Getting it just right was this particular designer’s obsession.
What’s more, it wasn’t just about one box. The tabs were placed so that when Apple’s factory packed multiple boxes for shipping to retail stores, there was a natural negative space between the boxes that protected and preserved the tab.
Now that’s taking user experience to the next level and is what truly separates Apple from the rest of the competition.