I love a good argument, especially when it is a major voice in search engine marketing pitted against a major brand in computer technology.
The other day, Gord Hotchkiss spoke on Search Insider about his concept of ‘brands that promise’ and ‘brands that are a religion’, citing Microsoft and Apple respectively as examples. Gord commented upon Microsoft’s decision to introduce retail stores selling products exclusively branded by them.
He reasons, “First of all, Microsoft products are ubiquitous, so why do I need to go to a special store to find them? Secondly, Microsoft products have none of the religious aura surrounding them that Apple products do. The Microsoft brand never became more than a promise.”
Religion? Aura? Promise? Is there a need to cross-analyze plain ole marketing or even online marketing for that matter, so deeply?
A lot of brands begin spreading their message offline through plain word-of-mouth. Depending on their originality, they go on to become either a hit or a miss and then think of going a step further and finding ways like building up their online presence or even retail stores exclusively selling their products.
Today, Zazzle.com is famous among the online crowd as an online repository for individuals and brands who want to market their name on objects like shirts, shoes, mugs, posters, etc. The ubiquitous I Love NY image seen on souvenir shirts and other items is another brand synonymous with tourism promotion for the state/city.
Microsoft is not asking to attain religion-status by branching into retail. They are simply marketing their brand using one of the most simple marketing ideas- their brand, for a price, on a tee-shirt.
Image Credit: kekremsi