Promoting new products â€“ Dos and Donâ€™ts
Answer a quick question: What high-tech company revamped multiple product lines at a major event back in September 2007?
I completely understand if you answered Apple. Apple has been all over the news back in September 2007, but it only updated one of its four product lines: the iPod.
The answer I was looking for was Hewlett Packard (HPQ), who bundled up 39 notebooks, desktops, monitors, handhelds, TVs, and other miscellaneous consumer products, shipped them into New York City for the beginning of Fashion Week, and introduced the lot under the theme "Your Life is the Show" at Skylight Studios. They brought in tennis star ...view middle of the document...
The result: most of the products were never noticed by both attendees and the press.
â€¢ Didn't articulate a meaningful message. Without a clear target audience and some targeted products to introduce, HP had no chance of communicating any meaningful reason that consumers and businesses should be paying attention to this event. But even so, the press release reads more like a laundry list than news. And no wonder -- with so many products to cover, no writer could have told a coherent story about all of them.
â€¢ Lost sight of the goal of the event. Presumably, the goal of this event was to sell HP products, at least indirectly. So why was it tied to Fashion Week in New York? Did HP think that the fashion press were going to be the major influencers of PC or iPAQ purchases this year? And if so, why ?
HP invited more than a thousand industry influencers, partners, customers, and notables. It probably spent millions of dollars putting this event together, especially given the crush of attendees to Fashion Week in New York. Yet Apple's Steve Jobs, renting a hall in San Francisco and inviting a few hundred press people, got about 100 times the number of stories written about this launch of four products than HP got for its launch of 39. HP should feel out-marketed because it was.
Most of the computer industry is in this same boat with regard to bad marketing, perhaps because hardware makers take so many of their cues from Microsoft's notoriously bad messaging. But mistakes like this are not harmless. Bad marketing makes a company look incapable of doing business well. It erodes a company's brand value and eventually its market value. And when that happens, investors lose money, a lot of people lose their jobs, and business moves to another company who is actually willing...