Last month, I wrote a post called Microsoft – A Case Study in Failing to Meet Customer Expectations where I discussed three of the main reasons that Windows Vista failed and Microsoft’s brand reputation has been less than stellar in recent years. Each reason related to failing to meet customer expectations, one of the most important things successful brands must do. Today, I read an article on The Register demonstrating that Microsoft still hasn’t seen the light.
At Microsoft’s worldwide partner conference this week, Microsoft’s vice president of Windows consumer product marketing, Brad Brooks, blamed much of the tarnished reputation of the Microsoft and Windows Vista brands on Apple and the “lies” told in the popular Mac vs. PC Guy commercials. According to The Register, Brooks said during his speech at the conference, “Today we are making a statement and drawing a line right here that we are going to do things differently. That we are going to tell our story.” Notice there was no mention of failing to meet customer expectations with Windows Vista. Instead, he simply stated that, “WindowsVista is a good product.”
Perhaps that’s true, but there is a reason (actually, there are likely to be many reasons) why consumers don’t like Windows Vista and I doubt Apple’s commercials are it. I love advertising and I think the Mac vs. PC Guy commercials are great, but they’re not the only reason that Apple picked up 6.6% of PC desktop marketshare since Windows Vista launched. Don’t believe me? Check out my aforementioned Microsoft – A Case Study in Failing to Meet Customer Expectations to learn three more reasons.
Instead of addressing problems and customer concerns, Microsoft is steamrolling ahead with the launch of Windows 7, which will be based on the Windows Vista operating system. Microsoft will stop providing support for Windows Vista’s predecessor, Windows XP, in May 2009. Sounds like the message Microsoft is sending is that customers better embrace Windows Vista or else. That’s not the way to meet customer expectations nor is that the way to re-energize a brand.
The lesson to learn here is this – ensure your brand consistently meets customer expectations and don’t be a brand bully.
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