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Microsoft Marketing Strategies for Xbox 360: Best and Worst Example of Success

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Microsoft was founded in 1975, when Bill Gates left Harvard at age 19 to work with high school friend Paul Allen on a version of the BASIC programming language. After moving the company from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Seattle in 1979, Gates and Allen began writing operating system software. What happened to the company since its founding is a well-known and often-told story. Key strategies that enabled Microsoft to achieve such remarkable growth in the competition-laden computer industry include product innovation, brand extension, heavy advertising, competitive toughness, and product expansion.

In 2005, Microsoft shook up the marketplace - and the marketing industry - again with its non-traditional launch for the Xbox 360. Read Microsoft's Xbox 360 spin(http://news.com.com/Commentary+Microsofts+Xbox+360+spin/2030-1069_3-5706144.html) and address the following questions:

What are the key elements of Microsoft's marketing strategy for the Xbox 360?
What are the similarities and differences compared to past product rollouts within Microsoft and compared to the rest of the industry?
Could Microsoft be considered one of the best and worst examples of marketing success in America during the 1980s and 1990s? Discuss.
Do any of the Microsoft strategies contradict future issues that Microsoft and other technology-oriented firms should prepare to deal with in coming years?
Please submit your assignment.

Objective: Discuss the implications of the societal marketing concept.
Describe how to position products and services compared to the competition.

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1. What are the key elements of Microsoft's marketing strategy for the Xbox 360?

Microsoft is following a new and unique marketing approach to have a competitive advantage in the industry. For example in the computer gaming hardware industry, a new product is generally unveiled first to partners and developers behind closed doors, then to other industry players and analysts at events like E3, and finally to consumers a couple of months before the release. However Microsoft eliminates all these stages and offers Xbox directly to consumers before all other major players like Nintendo and Sony. This helps the company to gain significant market share in a market whose product cycle has a front-loaded revenue stream and the firm can also be able to take the advantages of brand switchers in the near future by creating a strong brand equity. The company also collaborates with other electronics giants to collocate its next generation x-boxes with high definition TVs and makes new agreements with other industry partners to supports its brand with interactive promotional campaigns.

2. What are the similarities and differences compared to past product rollouts within Microsoft and compared to the rest of the industry?

The current brand strategy is very similar to the company's Windows XP campaign. But Microsoft is trying to change its usual dominant, static and less innovative player image with the new game console. The company is tying to build a frenzy of community speculation and support by acting like other successful manufacturers and imitating their strategies. For example Sony is ...

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  • MBA, Texas A&M University-Kingsville
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