Marketing Surface and Windows 8

on October 15, 2012

The first commercial for Microsoft Surface has aired. After seeing it, I’m not sure Microsoft’s partners should be at all worried about the perceived threat of Microsoft competing with them on the hardware front. The commercial itself does absolutely nothing to communicate any valuable reason why a consumer should even remotely consider buying it over something else. I wrote a column a few weeks ago explaining that in today’s day-and-age it is critical to communicate and message to consumers why they should consider your product over something else.

This is not rocket science. Show the product doing something valuable, something consumers can relate to and associate with. Apple, Google, Samsung, etc., are all doing this by messaging and highlighting in their marketing the key benefits of their products.

The Windows 8 preview ads do a little better job by actually showing some use cases with different products. This may sound odd given the market share Microsoft has in traditional PCs but I firmly believe Microsoft is the odd man out with the momentum in this industry and they are the ones in catch up mode.

From the early pricing we are seeing the upcoming flood of Windows 8 products are not going to be on par with other products from a pricing standpoint. Which by default means price is not in their favor. Because of that consumers must be absolutely clear on why they should care at all about this product.

What does it do that others products don’t? What does it empower me to do that others products don’t? What experiences exist on Windows 8 that don’t exist on other devices?

Success in consumer markets requires a good product and good marketing. I’m reserving judgement on whether or not Windows 8 is a good product. When it comes to the marketing, Microsoft needs to convince consumers Windows 8 is relevant to their current and future market needs. The current ads do not do this in my opinion.

In case you hadn’t seen them yet, here they are:

Microsoft Surface Ads

Windows 8 Preview Ads