IThis is a perfect example of negative word of mouth gone viral.
it reminds me that I got up in a word of mouth marketing Association meeting and publicly criticized two Dell and Microsoft product managers for a presentation in which they each showed how they were creating what I call artificial word of mouth. As I recall, they were going to create events that people would talk about, rather than present genuine advantages about their product that were so outstanding that people would talk about them. Later, out in the hall, the Microsoft product manager showed me Vista on his laptop. I asked him to show me some features, other than cosmetic ones, that would actually get me to go out and switch from either XP or from a Mac. He had none. That’s when I told him that no amount of word-of-mouth marketing was going to get him anywhere.
The rest is history. I didn’t get the Microsoft account. They didn’t get a successful word-of-mouth marketing program, even though they got on the networks with a giveaway for flight into space. That was worth talking about., but didn’t give anyone any reasons to actually switch to Vista, especially in the face of all of the negative word of mouth that persists to this day, over a year later.
Mac’s new operating system, Leopard, on the other hand is a smashing success. Why? Because they actually have several features that will get people to go out and spend their hard-earned money on an upgrade, or even to switch from Windows. Keep in mind, this is in a world where real people don’t even know what an operating system is.
Dell, on the other hand, understands that it’s about the product, not the buzz. They Have taken a whole range of steps in support, software, and hardware that has caused them to turn around.
BTW, come back Tuesday afternoon to read about an announcement about a Mac program that I think will be truly revolutionary.
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