The other day, I visited the Apple flagship store in Barcelona. It was not my first time there but the first time I was buying a device. I had a remarkable experience: I was really comfortable in there, people who attended me were really friendly and they solved every doubt I had. I observed around me. There were a lot of people buying, but some, specially in the second floor, were attending “how to courses” that explained them for example how to use their new iPad Air. The design of the store invites you to go there. One employee explained that all flagship store have the same design: they use the same materials, use the same tables, the same music, … You can be in Barcelona or in New York. You’ll feel the same way.
As far as I know, Android hasn’t a flagship store policy. In Singapore you can find something similar but it isn’t owned by Android.
What about Microsoft? Any of you have visited their flagship stores? I did. When I was in Seattle I had the opportunity to go to one of their stores. It is colorful, as their Windows, employees are kind, as Apple’s, but people don’t spend hours and hours waiting to buy their new Lumia or Surface version.
Microsoft devices are not cool. People only buy their Lumia smartphones if they have no other option (some of them are cheaper) or because their company give them as a company phone. I have tested my theory! I do some trainings and in every session I ask the attendees if they have Windows Phone. It is difficult to find someone proud of their Lumia smartphone.
[Tweet “Microsoft devices are not cool. People only buy them if they have no other option”]
Well, in fact I did. I know a lot of fanboys of Microsoft. They are hard to find since they don’t speak in popular conferences, you’ll find them in MS tech conferences. They don’t have the visibility Apple fanboys have since they are quite specialized in Microsoft technologies. Most of them are geeks, proud geeks.
However, what’s the point? Apple devices are better than Microsoft’s? I disagree. The fact is that we find Apple’s evangelists everywhere: in our families, in our work, among our friends… We all can be an Apple evangelist, specially if we’ve paid a huge amount of money for some of their devices, we’ll be proud of it and we’ll want to show it.
[Tweet “Apple devices are better than Microsoft’s? Not really but they have evangelists everywhere”]
Microsoft doesn’t have these kind of evangelists. As I said, they exist. I can prove it. However, when thinking of Microsoft, people conceive another image, not as cool as Apple’s. When thinking of Microsoft people imagine an old company, with old employees, not focused on design, not at all cool. That’s why we don’t want to buy a Microsoft device. We want to seem that we are cool, as an Apple fanboy/fangirl.
That’s the result of an Apple’s fantastic Marketing campaigns, where they trasmit the eagerness and need of having an Apple device with their jingle “Think Different”.
Things are changing. Microsoft is not a follower any more in their mobile strategy and they innovate (more than Apple lately). With their Surface Book they are starting to change it. Now, non-tech people are starting to be interested in this tablet, more than iPad, as a substitute of their laptops. Surface was conceived as a working tablet. While iPad, is and always was an entertainment tablet. But this is starting to being perceived now, after 4 years of the launch of the first Surface.
[Tweet “Microsoft is not a follower any more in their mobile strategy”]
Microsoft can win and be perceived as the tech leader again. However, it’s important not to focus only in innovation. Microsoft should focus on Marketing. Having the greatest products in the market is useless if you don’t communicate how amazing they are and if you don’t promote them. Microsoft has to focus on innovation, yes. But also, Microsoft has to believe that they are the leaders again. They have to change this perception internally but also, externally. Microsoft has to change their Marketing strategies and focus on promoting their cool products so users can perceive it.
So… Why people don’t buy Microsoft devices? Because they aren’t perceived as cool as Apple’s or Android’s. And this is it, just a perception. Want to change it?