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  • Writer's pictureSimon Deen

1,000 songs in your pocket

Whether you’re an Apple evangelist or not, one thing is pretty clear - they’re an amazing company. Nearly 10 years on from Steve Job’s untimely passing, their influence on modern culture remains as strong and as identifiable as ever.

“Creative Technology Ltd was more qualified than Apple to introduce a digital music product. The problem was, they advertised it as a ‘5GB MP3 Player’. It is exactly the same as Apple’s ‘1000 songs in your pocket’. The difference is that Creative told us WHAT their product was. Apple told us WHY we needed it” - Simon Sinek

It’s hard to think of another consumer goods business whose customers trust them to the point that they’re prepared to buy into such a diverse offering.


MP3 players



Digital media players



People aren’t only making the decision to buy these products from Apple, they’re also agreeing to pay more than they need to, sometimes queuing around the block for the privilege of doing so.

It’s for similar reasons that the best marketeers don’t sell you features, they sell you feelings. John Lewis sells you feelings every Christmas. Nike sells you feelings every time you see a pair of its sneakers on the feet of an inspirational athlete.

Tesla is selling feelings too. Are their cars better made than their German counterparts? We don’t care about that, Elon Musk is showing us the future and we want to be part of that tribe.

Yet, for as long as I can remember, the vast majority of property marketing has been done the other way around. Here’s how big it is. Here’s how many bedrooms it has. Here’s the neighbourhood it’s in. The vernacular is so rarely, “Here’s how living here will make you feel”.

Having read some of the property descriptions on my own website, I’m guilty of this too. Certainly when compared to this;

“Entry is gained through smart double doors in dark hardwood that lead the way to the main living spaces. The apartment emerges beyond a green curved wall and a pillar in Yves Klein blue, gradually revealing a row of Crittall windows with treetop views to the northeast”

“A pillar in Yves Klein Blue - you either understand the cultural reference, or you don’t (I didn’t). You’re either in the club, or you’re not. If you are, the subliminal thought is: “This might be a property for someone like me”. Most people want to be in a club of some kind. It feels exclusive, even when it’s not.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is something which I’ve spoken about before.

No one needs one of the properties I sell. Most of my clients managed to achieve Maslow’s fundamental physiological & safety needs (food, water, warmth, rest, security & safety) a long time ago.

Instead they’re looking to satisfy the needs at the top of the pyramid. Esteem (the feeling of accomplishment) and self actualisation (achieving one’s full potential).

Here, the term ‘kerb appeal’ is interesting. How it makes a potential buyer feel to pull up outside a property for the first time. How their friends might think of them when they come to visit.

I think (but I might be wrong) that estate agents need to spend more time telling people how it will make them feel to live in the homes we’re selling.

That, and how it will make them feel to deal with someone who they trust on the way to achieving their goals.


Things I’ve been inspired by this week

Compton is a new commercial real estate practice. This is their launch film.

For me it strikes the perfect balance of establishing competence, suggesting disruption and making you feel like working with them will be both fun and rewarding. It evokes all the right emotions, and I think it's an amazing piece of creative work.


Start With Why by Simon Sinek is a terrific book which I read back in 2018. Here’s his Ted talk, watched by over 54 million people.


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