Whoa, the fourth Bing commercial is simply outstanding. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer shouldn’t feel bad about approving that $80 million to $100 million marketing budget. He’s getting good value for the money spent.
Too many people are wasting too much energy writing about the name for Microsoft’s new search engine—assuming there is going to be one, rather than made-over Windows Live Search. Kumo, Crapo, Frapo, Wacko—who cares? Microsoft could rebrand search Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, Bozo the Clown or the Muffin Man. Right now, the name shouldn’t matter to anyone, nor will it make much difference against Google’s dominance. Microsoft must fundamentally change how search works.
The most successful companies share several attributes in common. Among the most important: They sell a lifestyle. Apple has effectively done this with multiple products, which is unusual. There are separate, yet related, iPod, iPhone and Mac lifestyles. But many buyers pay a premium price to join the Mac club.
There are plenty of other examples. The Harley Davidson lifestyle is the graying, middle-aged guy, dressed in leather and riding his hog or the stereotypical Hell’s Angels type. Pepsi sells a lifestyle, too. In my youth, it was the “Pepsi Generation.” Now it’s the active, youth sports lifestyle around Mtn. Dew, among other Pepsico products.
We couldn’t run the risk of damaging the brand name that Mazda worked so hard over the years to develop. Jeremy Barnes About the destruction of $100 million worth of cars.
Jealous Computers. They hate being replaced by the Nokia N95.
To promote the Macintosh 22 years ago, Apple purchased all—as in every—ad space in the Newsweek 1984 election issue. That was 39 pages.
The folks over at Graphical User Interface Gallery (aka Guidebook) have preserved every page from that Newsweek issue. It was a time when magazine advertising really mattered, unlike today when the Internet undermines magazine circulation.
Last night, during an IM conversation with Nate Mook (of Betanews fame), he broached the topic of smiles, saying Apple’s little iPod nano makes people smile. It’s just so damn cute. So are babies, for that matter, and they make people smile, too. Coocheecoo!
Today, I took some time to watch Steve Jobs’ iPod nano Webcast. I’ve got to tell you that he gives a better performance than most magicians. And the slight of hands are amazingly subtle. For example, he used iChat to video conference with Madonna in London.
My prevailing thinking on why high-tech products succeed or fail boils down to four criteria. Editor’s Note 2/8/2014: I expanded the number to eight and wrote book about them: The Principles of Disruptive Design.
A product must:
- Build on the familiar
- Do what it’s supposed to do really well
- Allow people to do something they wished they could do
- When displacing something else, offer significantly better experience
I want to take a look at just one of the ways Apple, with its puny computer marketshare, out-markets Microsoft. It’s all in the presentation.
Gander at these two websites: Apple’s iLife `04 and Microsoft’s Plus! Digital Media Edition. Each site hawks the respective company’s digital media suite. But, Apple does a much better job making its product enticing. [Update: 10/2009: Links removed because the original websites are gone.]