A little bit of advertising wouldn't hurt right?
So apparently Microsoft's biggest problem is advertising. I would have to say its a bit of advertising and branding its defiantly not on Apple's level but for Microsoft's portfolio it should be close.
We all seen Andrew Kim's work when it comes to branding Microsoft. Microsoft should do something similar but advertising needs to be on another level no excuses.
So how would you advertise Microsoft's culture and products. Culture is very key its what gets people to buy into the ecosystem.
Think about it what makes people buy into Apple products what makes people spend $$$ on Air Jordan's its culture, its hype its branding.
So lets talk about Culture.
Culture is very important. Everybody is different but they will buy into something they can relate to. My first objective is to fix Microsoft image. Who are the people that use Windows products?
I think the MAC vs PC adds still say a lot. Windows users are fat dudes in suits with no charisma :(
When you look at other companies
Apple - You see the trendy young adult who's hip and laid back
RIM - You think of the savvy business men in a suit or young entrepreneurs e.g. Be Bold adds
Google - I am not even sure I don't see any adds except for a "cute' Android... At least its "cute" right?
So what kind of image should Microsoft present. The "it's a family" adds its too corny and acted out I bet a lot of you agree. This needs to change it needs to get a bit more serious.
When you think of the words Microsoft and Technology what automatically pops into your head?
I think of professionalism, ambitious young adults, technology that can take man-kind to the next level. There is more to it than that but this is what MS needs to present itself for future generations to buy into the Microsoft brand.
Its a grey world.
When I think of the world technology the color grey and black automatically pop into my head because 95% of hardware is either black or grey.Lets talk about branding
I like Andrew Kim's "A new Microsoft" branding direction its clean, fresh and can potentially create a lot of hype.
Tech is a grey world like I said 95% of hardware out there is black so what I would do is focus and brand Microsoft services using different colors. For example,
Xbox = Green
Skype = Light Blue
Office = needs a new color I suggest Orange
Sky Drive = Dark Blue
In a grey world colors (which are services in this case) is what powers technology.
The Windows logo should be a bit of all colors mixed together to showcase its a Windows world.
Colors can easily grab peoples attention. Apple uses the color white to showcase the beauty of its hardware. Rather than copying that Microsoft is doing a great job using colors but they need to take it to another level.
What about Advertisements?
People won't buy into a product if they don't know about it. Simple as that.
I would look into 4 different advertisements directions that cater to different audiences
Microsoft "Its good to be a family"
This isn't your typical half-assed Microsoft ad.This puts a focus on the entire ecosystem for consumers. It's going to take MS services such as Skype, Office, Xbox Live, Xbox Music, Bing and it's going to show the world the beautify of 3 screens; PC (desktop, laptop), Mobile (phone, tablet), TV (Xbox).
It's going to focus on flow, simplicity and experience the joy of using a computer because of people hate computers.
1. Joe on his PC showcasing Windows 8 metro PC. He's on the go he shuts down and takes his metro experience and work to his laptop.
2. Joe would open his laptop which shows the Metro interface but focuses on multi-touch. Joe sends something to his friend Ken who is on-the-go on his Windows 8 tablet.
3. The focus goes to Ken (Joe's friend) who is using his Windows 8 tablet (Surface). Ken gets Joe's information shoes "snap view" (which the iPad doesn't have) and calls Joe's Windows Phone using his Skype on his Surface
4. Joe picks up his Windows phone 8 shows the beauty, smooth UI and Skype coming in as a normal incoming call no app needed. Joe picks up his phone and the advertisement ends.
This is just a sample but it goes to show the beauty, simplicity of Metro and the consistent user experience using different devices.This is just a example but this is how Microsoft should showcase the Metro experience to consumers.
Xbox.. Jump In :)
I love the Jump in campaign Microsoft used for the Xbox 360 but now Xbox is soo much more than a gaming console.
1. Focus not only on games but Xbox music and Xbox smart apps. I would showcase Xbox music similar to the add above which shows that music is accessible anywhere and anytime. I would put a focus on subscriptions because lets face it music is harder to download nowadays and subscriptions make it easy.
2. Treat the Xbox Live marketplace similar to how CD stores used to battle it out when it comes to pricing. So showcase the latest movies and albums coming out with a statement now available on Xbox Live marketplace on... So people know that hey there is another go-to online shop for music, videos etc. I would also focus on pricing to make digital content cheaper on Xbox compared to iTunes etc
3. TUESDAYS, TUESDAYS, TUESDAYS... Why Tuesday's? Because a bunch of things come out on Tuesdays. With Zune Pass Tuesdays is the day to look forward to. Download all the latest albums on Tuesdays and even have cheaper movie rentals on Tuesdays, 1 or 2$ movie rentals I'm in!
Microsoft for Business
This puts a focus on business which puts a focus on
Communication: Lync, Skype, Exchange, Outlook
Productivity: Office 365, Skydrive
Hardware: Business class PC, Laptops, RT Tablets, Phones even Smart Glass
The purpose is to raise more awareness and to put a focus on lowering cost. For example I don't see why smaller companies buy iPhones for 600$ and 3 year contracts when they can buy Lumia 710's for 249$ and get just as much business features.
Microsoft for Developers
Make it "cool" to be a Microsoft developer. Showcase up-coming applications, put a focus on success, world wide markets and just put a focus on the youth. Not everybody needs to aim for being an athlete, TV star etc make it cool to be a developer.
Also take a 3rd party app and show it flows between your phone, PC and TV pretty cool right?
So there you have it... Microsoft needs to advertise and brand better they have the tools, resources and money to make this happen. I don't have all the answers but these are ideas that I came up with by looking at the current brand compared to other brands I look up to.
So let me know what you think sorry for the long read but hopefully this gets my point across.