Gaming consoles may be consumer products but the likes of Microsoft certainly don’t draw much distinction given that they’ve got hands in all areas of the tech market, B2C and B2B. That said, how can its recent actions in the Console Wars apply to your own tech lead generation strategy?
Recently, Microsoft has finally decided to drop the Xbox One price next week while unbundling itself from the controversial Kinect.
Despite its advanced features and game-changing potential, the inclusion of the Kinect in earlier Xbox packages only did more to hurt the console’s reputation. This however wouldn’t be the first time that otherwise successful technologies have hurt their brand images all due to bad bundling. What do they usually have in common?
Due to Kinect’s bundling, the XBox One’s price was $100 higher compared to rival Sony’s PS4 which gave the latter the advantage in sales. It also didn’t help that the estimated teardown for the whole console showed further price bungling when it included the Kinect’s camera and sensor technology.
It doesn’t matter whether pricing is mostly a sales or marketing responsibility. In the end, what counts is how your prospect sees the price. Adding in a minor $50 can be either a fair deal or a deceptive bargain depending on what’s being bundled. And since B2B customers are arguably more critical when it comes to breaking down costs, don’t think they’ll miss unusual cuts or overcharges.
No choice comparisons
It’s not unusual to release at least two variations of a single product (like the Xbox-Kinect bundle and the solo Xbox unit). Unfortunately, Microsoft only did the opposite in the beginning by just marketing the bundle as its sole offering. It took a few tomatoes to the face before they saw their error.
See despite how good it sounds, prospects who don’t agree with your pricing are going to demand why they can’t just simply purchase certain pieces of the bundle individually. It doesn’t matter how good a single tech offering can get. What they want is the freedom to choose different products from your company.
Really, REALLY bad timing
The biggest problem with the Kinect was its eerie incapacity to turn itself off. Microsoft couldn’t have set a worst product launch right on the heels of being implicated by the Snowden revelations. It isn’t hard to imagine the total PR destruction an IT company would face if it released something similar (like its own data miner) right after such incidents. Claiming innocence (just as Microsoft did) will hardly make a difference.
By itself, the Kinect wasn’t a failure as a product but it was a failure when it came to marketing itself. It only goes to show that bugs don’t just exist within your coding or your systems. Don’t neglect to give your lead generation strategy its own diagnosis!