When it comes to highlighting a new product, the four main methods for Apple’s competitors appear to be lying, fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Why not just advertise what a product can do that’s better than a competitor’s product?
Can’t Beat ‘Em, FUD ‘Em
One television commercial that caught my eye and inspired a little analysis came from Apple nemesis Microsoft, aiming two barrels of blast at Apple nemesis Google.
Can you say Scroogled? Microsoft merely pointed out that a Chromebook is ‘not a real computer‘ because it doesn’t have Windows or Office.
It’s factually correct that Windows and Office are absent in a Chromebook, but that alone doesn’t make it a not a real computer.
After all, a Mac doesn’t have Windows or Office but few doubt the power of a Mac as a real computer.
By making a Chromebook appear less than it is, what Microsoft is doing is a time honored display of ‘fear, uncertainty, and doubt.’ Good old fashioned FUD. Microsoft’s product differentiation applies to Google search vs. Bing search, too.
Microsoft rightly points out that Google displays advertisements to students in school, while their own search engine, Bing, does not. Nothing is said about data collection, though,
Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire
Elsewhere, we have online retail giant Amazon, a company not opposed to stretching the truth into an lie. Have you seen Amazon’s television commercial pitting the iPad Air against the Kindle Fire 8.9 HDX.
Onscreen, both tablets appear to be about the same size. According to Amazon, The Kindle Fire 8.9 HDX is ‘20-percent lighter than the iPad Air.’ Well, of course it is. It’s 27-percent smaller than the iPad Air, which makes it actually heavier based on per square inch weight.
The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX is $120 less than a comparable iPad Air, but smaller and perhaps not as powerful (doesn’t run as many apps, which is what a tablet owner uses all of the time).
Microsoft has performed similar truth stretching and FUD when comparing the Surface tablet to the iPad.
This is how the second, third, fourth place also rans compare their products to the market leaders. LFUD. Lies, fear, uncertainty, and doubt. That’s how Samsung, Amazon, Microsoft et al compete with Apple. Seldom mentioned is the important but less tangible features of usability or user experience, or more tangible total cost of ownership.
LFUD is a time honored way to compete when you’re coming from behind and when it comes to Mac, iPhone, and iPad, everyone else is behind Apple.