Thursday, October 27, 2011

Miss Piggy, Apple And Muses

Many of you know that there is another Muppets movie headed our way...  You've seen some of the movie trailer spoofs, certainly.  And, if you're like me, you're wondering if you should tell your friends you want to see it and wondering how many times you can see it without losing your street cred.

Like a good actress, Miss Piggy has been a part of the PR machine (read this) in advance of the premiere which includes a feature in InStyle Magazine.  Here's an interview of Miss Piggy from InStyle's Facebook page below.  Hilarious and full of her trademark sass and jambon de vivre...  I mean, joie de vivre.

Memory Lane

Now, I didn't share all of this with you so that we can end the week in a fit of giggles (though that's admirable).  Remember this Sesame Street post from a few months back?  My love of Sesame Street, and The Muppets, is constant because they always find ways to say they acknowledge me as a longstanding fan.  Or, more significantly, they're successful at getting me to feel that they are acknowledging me though I know they are addressing everyone.

I'm still a customer no matter my, ahem, age because they treat me as if how I feel about them still matters to them.  Both Sesame Street and The Muppets are successful because they always want us around.  They deliver things to us as adults to reinforce the connection we had with both as children.  It's frankly the reason why Marc Jacobs, Brian Atwood and others are willing to create outfits for Miss Piggy.  It's an affinity beyond the business transaction.  They don't discard us so we don't discard them.

Muses and Musing

Why the special relationship?  It's because we are their constant yet everchanging muses.  As society and we have changed, so have the ways they engage with us.  What's the most remarkable thing about this ever evolving and ever constant love affair between Sesame Street, The Muppets and their customers?  It's that Jim Henson passed away in 1990.  Yup, it's been that long.

And so, it gets me thinking about another creative genius that's been on our minds of late and the impact his passing has on the company he built.  I've seen many suggest that Apple can't succeed without Steve Jobs, among other predictions of its demise.  I can appreciate why people would put forth the argument...  but I think the predictions of its demise are a bit drastic.

I go back to that Miss Piggy video, other Muppets tidbits and of course lovable characters like Elmo, Grover and Big Bird that still thrive without Jim Henson's touch.  They thrive because those who carry Jim Henson's legacy understand the concept of customer as muse.

Steve Jobs succeeded because we were his muses.  He was always inspired by how we live, what we do, the ways we engage and he created things that were complementary to how we were evolving...  not unlike how Sesame Street and The Muppets relate to us as we get older and older.  The trick for our friends at Apple, I believe, is to see that the magic didn't reside in Steve Jobs so much as it resided in his muses.

Sappy?  Maybe.  But, it's my two cents.  Please share your thoughts below and, if you've enjoyed this post, please share with friends.  I'm thankful.

Parissa Behnia
Idea Chef

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