Category Archives: Technology
I have finished everything with my Mobile Application Research Study I conducted during my final semester at Winona State University. I attached it below. Copyright is mine, but you are free to use my work as long as you attribute any of my research and the works of th authors and organizations mentioned.
Audi VS Mercedes has been a battle that has been making ad agencies very happy. Audi, for some time now, has been directly competing against them in their advertisements as a way to change the perception of luxury and fun, much like Cadillac did with their new line of STS sedans.
Audi and their new campaign to one up Mercedes in my mind has been fairly successful at changing the luxury perception of Mercedes being “Old Luxury” catering to elite rich folk and Audi becoming the “New Luxury” who caters to the savvy, yet young business man.
We have all seen their advertisements but this one holds more relevance:
We have all seen the Audi “Goodnight” commercial, but this one I feel, is a bit more fun. It explicitly pokes fun at Mercedes Benz owners as gullible and snooty.
Mercedes responds with adverts about their vehicles but this one is a very direct product of the battle as a response to Audi’s positioning of their advertising. This ad tries to show that they can be fun, too.
Both ads have an interesting take on customer’s perception of each brand. One tries to perceive that it is fun luxury, while the other tries to change perceptions that it is just as fun. Trying to remove bias: each brand is attempting to one-up each other.
Once the Consumer is Hooked:
When the consumer enters a high involvement state (ready to buy, more cognitive processing), the consumer who is debating between Audi and Mercedes most likely being their information search, via website.
Mercedes does a great job conveying their message not only through a TV commercial, but on their website:
Mercedes capitalizes on on the brand and the image of the vehicle.
Adds pictures to the text to reinforce meaning and emotional appeal.
The Mercedes AMG website which is for their high-performance line, it has an interactive presentation and has easily accessible, raw information when the prospective buyer is looking for it.
I’m am a die-hard fan of Audi, but their website does not reciprocate the emotional and cognitive appeals from their TV advertisements compared to Mercedes, less interactive presentation.
Cluttered links, hard to find technical information and blocks of mass text looks unappealing.
Again, just below this slide show on the Audi website, mass text, nothing organized.
Further down the previous page, all text.
Audi does a great job changing perceptions that it is the superior luxury brand, but for the consumers who need the raw technical specs to make a buying decision, Audi lacks.
Before reading: do not think I am biased on this. I owned two Windows Mobile devices and the reason for the 2nd one was because I loved the first. I respect Mac’s for the media and arts and PCs for the general user. The purpose of this post is to identify Microsoft’s future in mobile devices subjectively through facts.
Microsoft, up until a few years ago, developed some pretty innovative mobile devices that enabled a lot of businesses to expand with the Windows Mobile (WM) OS. As it is still widely used today in retail, logistics, and service industries, it has struggled with keeping its market share on the consumer market.
The WM platform has hit a few major road blocks that I will try to explain and predict Microsoft’s future with mobile devices. First off, the introduction of Android. This has been a detrimental part in Microsoft’s market because in many cases, Android appeals to a wide variety of demographics. According to The Nielsen Company, a major research firm, not only did Android surpass WM in market share, but they have lost touch with the younger demographics. Additionally, they are 4th in market share compared to Blackberry, Android and Apple.
It does not help either that they had a major product failure with the Windows Kin phones that were exclusive to Verizon Wireless. They were going to launch into Europe but cancelled due to the lack of product adoption. However, I do have to hand it to them by bringing an innovative phone that syncs everything on cloud but the product just wasn’t marketed enough nor liked by the market. Wired.com gives their opinion in four reasons why the Kin failed and two are worth noting:
- Expensive for what you are getting
- No games – No apps
Being a built for social networking, it is nearly essentially to have games/apps. Overall feel it was a impulse attempt to hold the younger markets. They just lacked the research or “forgot.”
So now that the Kin is dead and the Windows 7 phones just launching, you really have to wonder: did they know Kin was going to fail and was Windows 7 for mobile devices in research before/during the research of the Kin? They do have a history about this as well. For instance, Vista and Windows 7 for PCs. Right when Vista released, there were already rumours of Windows 7 development.
I want to sum up Microsoft’s control over product releases in a fun analogy:
At first you think your product won’t sell, keep building it any ways and build another better one, just in case.
With the release of the Windows 7 phones, I really do feel Microsoft will struggle. Yes, Windows 7 for mobile devices are new, innovative and somewhat appealing – it does not make them good. However, for many consumers, it just may not appeal to them. Maybe Microsoft is changing their position in the marketplace purposely. Or they just stopped believing in their company.
It’s not what you do, it’s why you do it!
It also does not help that their CEO, Steve Ballmer, dumped almost $2 billion in Microsoft stock, according to Business Week. He does say it was for personal finance in a public statement, but you be the judge: to me, the quote that Business Week took from Ballmer’s statement sounds generic and sugar coated.
The main reason why I think Microsoft will struggle, is they shot themselves in the foot before the release of Windows 7 for mobile devices. They have a declining market share and a bad reputation. Both of which are difficult to fix. Maybe their new release will recover their territory, but they will struggle doing it. That is a fact because after consumers sawhow bad Microsoft did with the Kin, it gave consumers a bad impression. So why should they buy the Windows 7? Microsoft will have to overcome this slump by creating a desirable product. But as stated above. Having an amazing product does not make everything OK again.
Recently, I have been very interested in the subject of sociology and the effects and ethics of the internet, the web and social media. I have been thinking of many theories and writing notes and I have a very brief theory of the future of personal data aggregation.
Let me start off by saying Google does it brilliantly. Providing absolutely* free applications such as Google Docs, Mail, Calendar, Talk, Analytics and many more. With the addition of Android, the open source mobile operating system, they provide additional personality to their brand.
“When you sign up for a Google Account, we ask you for personal information. We may combine the information that you submit under your account with information from other Google services or third parties in order to provide you with a better experience and to improve the quality of our services.”
It makes sense, “to provide you with a better experience and to improve the quality of our services.” We are given a number essentially and tracked. But the free stuff is so appealing! Many business of opted out of purchasing expensive programs such as Microsoft Office and just used Google Apps.
But here is my scenario that I play in my head over and over again:
Open my eyes. Look at the clock which personalized and recommended by a computer. This computer aggregated everything about me to distil a algorithm that can tell you everything about my personality, values, goals, beliefs etc…
I notice it is time to get ready for the day. Roll out of bed and walk to the bathroom to take a shower. Since a computer knows my preferences, it sets it at exactly 104.4 degrees Fahrenheit because 104.2 is too cold and 104.6 is too warm. After I shower, I brush my teeth and use a special mouth rise because I recently was told by my dentist that I have sensitive teeth and I should use Product X. He wrote down notes on a tablet pc about this and it automatically notified a server that I am in the market for Product X .
So at the last time I was at the market, I bought it because my phone noticed I was at the supermarket and notified me that I need to buy Product X for my sensitive teeth.
Proceeding my brushing and mouth rinse. I head for my car that was previously decided based upon my income and my preferences. It was chosen for me to buy because I would prefer to own a car sooner and opt out of buying an over-priced car. So a server went through every car made and found a car that I could pay off in 3 years and gives me the best value for my dollar. I prefer a fast yet practical car. This car was also chosen because I can afford $400 monthly payments and gives me the highest performance and value. $395/month would be less optimized and $405/month is out of my price range.
What happens when possible choices that are developed on our own, are challenged by recommended choices are created with data aggregated by databases? We lose the power to decide our own fate and choosing against the recommended choices simply to make us feel we have power over our lives no longer applies because we are not ‘optimized’ to produce the best life.
To get a better idea of what I am talking about, read this Business Week article published in 2007. The author, Rob Hof, talks a lot about how Google is working to become a working A.I. search engine. He takes my idea and illustrates it quite well and examines other players such as Amazon.
The short version is: I love technology and how it allows us to be more efficient and make better decisions. However, there needs to be a line. It is a massive trade off: completely remove humanity and thinking all together but have the most optimal life made for us.
Once this computer knows everything about me, making choices are pointless because the decision is already made by the computer.