I couldn’t let today pass without mention of the sad death of Steve Jobs co-founder of Apple. An inspiring, innovative and passionate leader. And a man that understood only too well the connection between what something looks and feels like with our perceptions and desires.

When Alex Riley explored the world of the Secrets of the Superbrands back in May this year he found that Apple has literally become a religion (well almost). When neuroscientists used an MRI scanner to examine the head of an Apple fan they found areas of the brain light up that are usually do for religious imagery in people of faith.

OK, so maybe this isn’t limited to Apple – our brains are good at liking things and you’d probably get the same kind of illumination for fans of all kinds but it’s fascinating none the less that Apple can bring about this intensity of feeling.

Apple has an amazing ability to understand and market to us mere mortals. Know those crazy white headphones (showing my age here — think the proper term may be earbuds) for the i-pod? Well, far from being the impractical, dirt collecting colour they may at first seem, making them white was actually a stroke of well thought through genius. Because white makes them visible. *

Given our only too human nature of wanting to copy each other, we can’t copy what we can’t see. And those tiny little i-pods hidden in a bag or pocket simply aren’t visible. The more we see something the more we grow to like it – so it makes huge sense to make the only visible bit that bit more visible.

Remember those first i-pod ads with silhouettes of dancing figures – what else could you see? Yes, those white headphones and wires. Those wires became an intrinsic part of the brand imagery. Genius!

* Can’t remember where I read this off hand but I’ll find out and post it up as soon as poss.