Attention Marketing: I have a way for you to determine if a product is going to flop or be hot. Go to some customer sites, techie conventions, give away a bunch of T-shirts with future logos on them. One per customer, and have them vote with the swag.
I have been going though this because some partners and competitors have been giving shirts to my customer. Of course, they then look at me, "where's Microsoft's shirts?". I decided to take some quick polls as to what type of logos they would want on a t-shirt.
- Vista - the overwhelming reponse was that no one wanted Vista. Shocker! Even though they are slated to roll out Vista later this year, it doesn't excite anyone. People had the attitiude that it was a necessary, but where ho-hum about the features and benefits. When Windows XP came out, we couldn't keep shiirts in stock!
- Zune - amazingly, some people had Zunes and wanted to discuss them instead of the shirts. They absolutely love the hardware, but think the software isn't living up to its potential. They keep holding on for THE update that will finally deliver killer Zune features. Based on speculation and comments from the Zune team, they could be waiting a while. They voted no on the Zune shirts, even if they were brown.
- Office 2007 - got a pretty good response, but Office logo'd shirts are just not hip.
- SQL Server - that is so 2005....
- Exchange 2007 - Cool, but didn't garner overall votes.
- GOW - I mentioned that I saw some "Gears of War" shirts, and most people got excited about the prospect. But a few people said that they might scare their kids and they couldn't wear them to work.
- Longhorn - Suprisingly, most people asked for Longhorn shirts. I had no idea that there was such a Longhorn movement, but when quized, each person could rattle off a few features in Longhorn they were looking forward to. A codename shirt is potentially really cool while the product is in development, but after it is released it looses its luster exponentially and gets shipped to the Smithsonian.
- Xbox 360 - what can you say? People had remarks like, "the last cool product Microsoft made was Xbox 360", "my kids would think I was a cool if I had an Xbox 360 shirt".
So, I am now looking at what our options are to get Xbox 360 shirts.