ANALYZING THE MESSAGING FOR MICROSOFT SURFACE.
Microsoft is not known for buzz-inducing product announcements, but that’s exactly what we got from them this past Monday in Los Angeles. Taking a cue from rival Apple’s well-known penchant for mystery, Microsoft sent cryptic email invitations to journalists who speculated wildly about the event until the very moment the product was unveiled—a new Windows 8-based tablet PC called “Surface.”
During the Surface announcement, we noted that Microsoft executed their messaging very well because:
> They made a compelling offer for the right audience – Microsoft used language in their invitations that made tech journalists excited about the event and the product. This translated into thousands of influencers generating lots of free marketing copy for Microsoft.
> They had a consistent message and visual brand – While short on specifics like price and availability, all of the Microsoft Surface visuals, product information and key value propositions shown during the event by the Microsoft executives aligned with the product’s available digital collateral.
> They hit their launch date without leaks – Microsoft has a reputation for derailing their own announcements with press leaks. Obviously Microsoft trained all employees and vendors involved with the Surface launch to keep tight lipped.
The Microsoft Surface event built hype around the product unlike anything they’ve offered in years. But now the challenge becomes using clear messaging to convert that hype into success once the product is available to buy.
The danger Microsoft will soon face is communicating the critical differences between the Surface tablet compared to its biggest competitor: the Apple iPad. For Microsoft to be successful against this entrenched competitor, they’ll have to clearly demonstrate its benefits and differences to buyers.
So far, Microsoft has successfully created hype for the Surface, but that’s just the first step. Now we’ll see if Microsoft can communicate the value of Surface to customers more effectively than Apple already does for the iPad.