Microsoft Kin hits the spot “well… almost” Part 2

Read Part 1: Pricing here

Part 2:Marketing

Microsoft has spent upwards of a billion dollars to bring the Kin market (if you count the $700 million Danger acquisition plus further R& D cost) but when it comes to the critical part of marketing the phone they drop the ball over and over again. The one ad I’ve seen on TV barely shows the phone and never make the case for why should I buy it.

I just went to a local Best Buy to check out the Kin and all they had on display was a dummy phone. I had to ask if they had a real one so I could actually test the interface. Since the phone’s UI is totally different, a person has to use it in real life to just realize how awesome it is! This is such a wasted opportunity. Moreover, it did not contain any sample data so I could not experience how the loop worked, feeds, social network integration and Zune pass experience. Of course there was no PC monitor to showcase the Kin studio integration. The worst part was I knew more about the Kin than the BB associate. How does Microsoft expect to sell the phone when prospective users cannot experience the device first hand sold by sales people who couldn’t care less about the product?

By contrast, jump over to the Apple section and they have fully working iPads with sample data and internet connection that by the time you get done, you have a real feel of the device. I then went to a Verizon store (two in fact) and they did not have any of the phones in stock a week and a half after the official unveiling.

* I would start by firing the ad agency (like Palm did but too late) The new ads would showcase just “the phone” under different use case scenarios. No more “cool” people jumping around the screen. Keep it simple just the facts.
* All stores selling the phone will have fully working demo devices with full contacts, live feeds, pictures videos, Zune pass subscription , internet connection and at least one phone will be connected to a PC with a 22″ monitor with Kin studio running and Zune desktop client. In real estate they know the importance staging as a means of driving sales, MS should do the same.
* All stores will also have at least one Microsoft employee who is fully knowledgeable and passionate about the phone. (I found most of the associates at Best buy and especially Verizon more inclined to push the Android phones)
* Set up Kiosks at Walmart, Target, malls and other retail locations to display the Kins in action and a Rep to answer all questions. MS you are the underdog in this fight so you have to be more aggressive and find ways to reach people because the iPhone and Android are the new media darlings so chances of positive or even lenient reviews of your products are hard to come by if at all.
* The international roll-out should happen as soon as possible in as many countries as possible before all the new iPhone and Android OSes come out and get established. Why the long wait?

Next Part 3: Website

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