When Commodities are Cloaked in High Tech, Buyers Can Fail to Recognize True Innovation

Advanced manufacturing techniques help competitors in commodity markets lower their cost of production. Creative product marketing teams can portray these techniques as true innovation, and thereby cloak the real mainstream nature of products from buyers. When this happens, competitors with truly leading edge products lose market share and fade into the background, invisible to buyers.

We think this scenario is playing out on three fronts to the disadvantage of Microsoft®. The three fronts are:

  1. the Small, Smart, Mobile Device (SSMD) market for tablet computers
  2. the SSMD market for smart phones
  3. and the desktop computing market for Operating System Software

Microsoft is clearly the technology leader in all three of these markets. No one else has come to market with a scalable operating system that provides the core of Windows 8, for desktop computing, the Windows Phone 8 OS for the Windows Phone and the Surface tablet. Apple has not made an attempt to implement touchscreen technology for its laptop or desktop computers, nor has Google’s Android division for the Chromebooks.

But, we argue, the market perceives Microsoft as the technology laggard in these markets. Whether it’s a matter of someone on a television show extolling the iPad, or someone else, online, exaggerating the penetration of cloud and/or SaaS vendors into the enterprise computing market, the same message reverberates. Microsoft fails to communicate the true market-leading nature of their new operating systems and products.

We think a shift in focus, away from “me too” messaging to “why follow me” would certainly help Microsoft’s marketing communications efforts. Consider how their efforts in market 3), above, would fare should they highlight how anyone with Carpal stress syndrome would welcome touchscreens on the desktop. Examples of manufacturing businesses with noisy shop floors and a lack of desk space would likely make the same impression on buyers.

If you need to tune up your brand, and understand the importance of successful marketing communications to your efforts, please contact us. We’d welcome an opportunity to hear about your products and your needs.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved

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