When Steve Jobs is wearing them.
Last Halloween I was trying to think of a simple but fun costume. Then it hit me -- how about Steve Jobs? I'm about his size, balding with gray stubble, wear glasses, own several pairs of New Balance running shoes and frequently wear black mock turtlenecks. So when combined with my new iPad I had an easy and super comfortable costume. My only question was whether or not people would get it. Well they did. To a person I was instantly recognized as Steve Jobs and when you think about it, that's amazing.
Per my post a few weeks ago, I consider Steve Jobs to be one of the best marketers of our time, heck maybe of all time. But what I hadn't thought about until seeing it in Newsweek's special edition was that Steve Jobs had created his own personal brand.
Newsweek's Robin Givhan describes it perfectly...
"Steve Jobs personal brand - his mock black turtleneck and jeans - was by no means ad hoc. He looked as he wanted customers to feel - comfortable! If one is intimidated by the CEO, then what does that say about the product?"
"His style was that of the super smart guy who tutors you through calculus with his brain power, but ultimately makes you love math because of his simple charm. In both his attire and his company, Jobs proved that simplicity is both powerful and elegant."
Just like the products he designed, the genius of the Job's brand was it's simplicity, ease of use and comfortable style. Not too rich or flashy (e.g Larry Ellison) and not too boring or geeky (Bill Gates) -- but just right.