Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Marketing to human beings

SecretGeek has this hilarious reconstruction of the branding thought process in Redmond.

Proposed NameFeedback from Microsoft HQ
X#Too snappy
XenToo religious
Polyphonic C#Too arty
COmegaToo Mathematical
XOmegaToo greek
XLinqStill Too Snappy
Linq to XmlNot Long enough
Microsoft Ubiquitous
Structured Services
Framework For
XML Querying
and Collaboration 2008!

This is a trend that I have noticed in Microsoft product branding since around the first Media Center release - at that time it was branded "Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition". Then came "Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition". Topping it all up were "Microsoft Windows Mobile PocketPC Edition" and "Microsoft Windows Mobile SmartPhone Edition". Damn name wouldn't fit within a smartphone screen.

To all M'Softies - The human brain is a very advanced non-linear machine. It doesn't need to be given the full context to figure out a brand. Just call it Media Center and I know that it is Windows that can do tricks.

My wild guesses on the internal rationale for this branding strategy -
-- Microsoft thinks users are morons who need everything explained to them.
Problem: See above. With this strange Redmond rationale, people wouldn't have known what an iPod means.
-- I have a very peculiar feeling (the one I have when I think of something weird which is usually right) that there is some senior Windows VP who has a hard time tracking all his Windows-branded products out there; and so has enforced this branding convention to get his head clear whenever he has to contemplate the entire Windows family :-)

If you want people to identify with a brand, you've got to give it character. Who wants to identify with "Microsoft Windows Mobile SmartPhone Edition"?

For operating systems with character, lets hail the big cats - OS X Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger, Leopard.

Related Post: How would Microsoft have branded and packaged the iPod?

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