1.1 Current Message Strategy
Surface brand is marketed independent of other branding (Microsoft, Win 8) (Appendix A). Microsoft is positioning Surface as a stand-alone brand, hoping to achieve the strength of its Xbox brand. Current tagline is ‘Click in.’ – a reference to its integrated cover/keyboard/trackpad (Appendix A, B). Current marketing strategies have been in place since June 18th, 2012, leading up to the product launch date of 26th of October, 2012 (Appendix K). The current message is delivered by a range of push and push-pull communication approaches.
| Banner Ads have been popping up in high visibility areas- Microsoft is opening to ensure the Surface is a success over the holiday period. It includes both Surface and Microsoft logos, and the tagline ‘Click in.While the Microsoft logo is included, they have decided not to use the new grid logo Microsoft launched last month.(Appendix E).| | Cool, quick moving ad shows a student at university, discovering the ‘click’ of the Surface device and its cover. Around him, other students, businessmen, families and cool people click, dance and generally have fun with the Surface. The ‘Click in’ tagline theme is evident in onomatopoeic sounds throughout the advert. The Surface logo is displayed at the end of the ad, with “Click in at Microsoft” as the extended tagline. See (Appendix F).| | Street art advertising Surface has been popping up around the states and even in Europe.The Surface logo is very clear, as is the tagline. Different colours have been used in the cover images. This type of advertising is establishing Surface as a cool, street-smart brand, aimed at the target market.(Appendix H)| | |
| Surface has its own YouTube channel.The Original TV ad has had 1.5 million views since its launch on the 15th of October. (Appendix I)| | Surface have established a Twitter account for promoting conversations about Surface and building relationships with consumers. Through this channel, Surface are also providing free music downloads of the music from the TV ad- a cool way to engage youth in its marketing. Support members are actively using the Twitter account and any queries are being immediately tended to. This is important to establish Surface as a brand that listens to its customers.(Appendix J)| | Surface has a Facebook page with product announcements and information on ordering the Surface devices. However, Surface is not using this to engage in discussions with consumers and missing an important opportunity to develop relationships and brand loyalty.(Appendix K)| | |
1.2 Message Effectiveness
* Current messages are working well, although there is some room for improvement. * Message is aiming to engage consumers who have not yet bought a tablet device, or are unsatisfied with current offering. * Push-pull messages inconsistent- consumers expect interaction on Facebook, but it’s not there, whereas, communication on Twitter is very consistent- is this company engaged with its customers or not? * The tagline ‘Click in.’ is simple and well used. However, the message is diluted by different iterations of the tagline, and the reference is not clearly explained. * The lack of emphasis on features/benefits means that consumers already committed to a competitor’s ecosystem, may not clearly identify a reason to explore the Surface offering further. * Consumers may not be aware that there are two versions of Surface- one with Intel inside- one without for lighter use (Appendix R). * Visual images very cool and youthful- helping to establish Surface as a hip brand.
1.3 Proposed Message Strategy Adjustments
* Create some messages that are straight-sell: identify features and benefits that are unique to the PC experience, and demonstrate these programs being used in a mobile way. E.g. advert showing university student/creative type using software previously unavailable...