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Listening to a Billion Consumers

Listening to a Billion Consumers

Windows 7, the latest version of Microsoft Windows, a series of operating systems for use on personal computers, was released today less than three years after the release of its much-denigrated predecessor, Windows Vista.

With the official launch currently underway around the globe, Microsoft has released four new advertisements to market Windows 7. This round of advertisements is very direct and dubbed 7-Second Demos, with the theme “I’m a PC and Windows 7 was my idea,” an extension of the “I’m a PC” campaign, having consumers take credit for “developing” various aspects of the new operating system.

We cannot comment upon whether Windows 7 will live up to promises and expectations, but we think that the concept of a billion consumers co-creating the product, is a wonderful example of meaningfully leveraging the real voice-of-the-consumer, an often overused advertising expression.

Lots of companies – especially big companies like Microsoft – do all kinds of research. Most of that research ends up providing excellent answers to meaningless questions, and virtually none reflect the real voice or expectations of the consumer. Check out the new GM campaign if you doubt us. And while a product positioning approach of “we not only hear you but we’ve listened to you” isn’t new, it’s usually the small niche brands that do it well.

And it shouldn’t be surprising that it’s Microsoft who’s doing it now. After all it was Bill Gates who pointed out this strategy back in 2000, in his book “Business @The Speed of Thought.” “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

And perhaps a meaningful voice for the brand.

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