Deconstructing the Moto X Hype Machine (Update: Some Stats)
The Moto X is coming tomorrow, and the 1 year plus of Hype will finally cease as Motorola and Google unveil the device that have made the Android faithful and basically every in consistent chatter about this "Mystical" device that Google claims will change the trajectory of the smartphone industry as we know it.....Uhhhhh...yeah maybe not all that, but the device looks like it will be kind of cool.
What is Hype?
In my opinion no device post OG iPhone, has ever lived up to its hype. However, regardless of that, hype sells. To me hype is a combination of intrigue, mystery, and marketing. If you get those 3 pieces in sync correctly you have success. The Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4 easily shows us that regardless of what people think about your device if you put enough intrigue, a little mystery and a ton of marketing behind a device. Gimmicks, plastic, and all the other stuff aside...it will sale like hot cakes.
Just look at the HTC One, arguably a better device than the S4, but it just cannot get traction. Did it have intrigue?..yes. Did it have mystery? A little. Did it have a ton of marketing? No NO NO. The HTC One was a complete failure on the marketing front and basically lost sales for it. But that is for another conversation.
The Moto X Hype Machine
The easiest way to deconstruct the Moto X Hype Machine is to simply put it into a timeline of announcements rumors and stories to get a better understanding of what The Goog and Motorola were able to do. I will use The Verges Story Stream for the Moto X as the reference. So lets start...
The first variable to the Hype Machine is intrigue. Without people will simply not care. For the Moto X intrigue was not that difficult to come buy. For starter Google had just acquired Motorola so the intrigue was already there regarding what Google was going to do. Where they going to build a Moto Nexus, Where they going to stop partnerships. What was going to happen. Google had never been in the hardware business, and it seemed they were taking a page out of Apple's book by controlling the software and the hardware. Then on December 21 the Wall Street Journal reported Google is working on a X Phone. What X Phone..huh Is this a Google X Project. Tech Blogs are going crazy, The intrigue has been planted. The next 2 months will focus on..Is the X Phone really real.
Intrigue is spawns mystery. Which is what exactly happened, with the question of is the X Phone real confirmed through a Motorola job listing, mystery has set in. Everyone now knows it is real, but no one knows what it is. Now what? We now hear more and more, wait for the rumored X-Phone, with absolutely no clue what it will be or if it will be even good. Than just when we are like whatever...Google's CFO says, Motorola Projects are not 'wow' by Google's standards. Further saying they have to drain 18 months of product before getting to the innovative stuff.
What? Motorola's stuff suck? This will not be a Droid? 18 Months starting from When? Real Innovation? Someone give me answers!!! They mystery has now been implanted. The Moto X has again gained some tech news cycle transction. The techies and Blogs are in chit chat mode, the hype moves on.
To keep the mystery going you have to have leaks. I feel every leak of the Moto X was on purpose, and done in a systematic way. Going from small leaks here and there to full scale professional pictures of Schmidty posing with the phone.
In the end Marketing is the last piece. The only thing we know up to this point is that Google says they will infuse a ton of cash into the marketing on the Moto X, but that is yet to be seen until the unveil date. The marketing will basically pull the 3 pieces together capitalizing on the 7 months of speculation surrounding the phone. Google and Motorola did something here they will only be able to do once. And the success or failure of the Moto X will prove to be a lesson in selling a bringing in a new device into an already crowded smartphone market.
I could have spent more time really deconstructing each section and maybe even adding more, but like many I prefer not to read super long post, and like to see how we can expand the conversation. So your thoughts, exceptions, criticism, whatever are welcomed.
Update: Those Pesky Tech Blogs
So I find it interesting the amount of buzz both the Moto X has received, since its actual announcement. The one thing that I see is that the Moto X hype is not going away anytime soon. In fact between the Galaxy S4 and HTC One...the amount of buzz in the forums has never been this high. I like looking at trends and numbers, soI did some simple research using the Verge's Power search..and the results where interesting
So by doing an exact phrase search in the Verge for the Galaxy S4, HTC One, iPhone 5, and Moto X one week after their luanch events the results are as follows:
iPhone 5: Event Date September 12
HTC One: Event Date February 19
Galaxy S4: Event Date March 13
Moto X: Event August 1, 2013
What we see here is that the buzz around the Moto X within the Verge is approaching that of iPhone levels, which is what we never see from an Android Phone. Yes, the Verge is just one site, but I would say it has the most cross platform users then any other tech site around.
I additionally did a Google search using the same methodology and these were the results.
"iPhone 5" 6,280,000 hits
"HTC One" 4,370,000 hits
"Galaxy S4" 9,510,000 hits
"Moto X" 12,750,000 hits
The commenters and forum posters within these tech blogs are creating buzz around this device both negative and positive. However, most tech blogs are giving the Moto X a favorable review. I think in the end the marketing if and when it happens will feed into this aspect and from a Motorola standpoint we may see a successful device here.