Surprise Marketing: How To Make A Boring Product Sound Cool

from the a-lot-of-hot-air-for-what? dept

There are some good reasons to be a stealth company or to launch a product in beta. For some companies, going "stealth" is a good way to keep plans secret until they're really launched. A much better reason is that the product isn't fully formed, and if word gets out too early, it could end up confusing the eventual positioning of the product. For beta products, it's often a good way to get early feedback before a product is really ready for prime time. However, in both cases, it seems like companies are overdoing the use of both "stealth" and "beta" offerings -- and often it's much more for marketing reasons than anything else. Having something that's in "stealth" or "beta" stage is being used as a way to drum up interest by sounding exclusive or exciting. As some are noting, what this really means, is that "our only competitive advantage is surprise" -- which should, but doesn't, scare away some of the over eager investors. On that note, we'll join with TheStalwart in calling the plague of such stealth offerings GINGERvitis, after the original name of the Segway when it was all just a huge rumor that everyone was speculating about. GINGERvitis can be associated with the following character trait: companies that "developed products which wildly captured the public's imagination until the moment the products were unveiled."

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

    Beck, Oct 26th, 2005 @ 1:40pm

    Prime Example

    You'd have to put the Motorola ROKR on that list.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    Nicholas, Oct 27th, 2005 @ 10:13am

    No Subject Given

    Yeah, when is GMAIL coming out of BETA again?


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2005 @ 12:18pm

    No Subject Given

    Perhaps Techdirt should refrain from trying to coin new catch-words and phrases. Face it, you're still the only site in the world where I've ever seen the "streisand effect" mentioned, and I don't see "GINGERvitis" catching on, either. It's just way too obscure for most people to grasp quickly and I'm not interested in explaining it to anyone.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    John, Oct 27th, 2005 @ 5:18pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    Seems to appear in plenty of other places. And it seems pretty clear from the post that Tech Dirt isn't the one coining this new phrase.

    However much more importantly ITS A JOKE. Who really cares if people grasp it quickly or not.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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