Not an Advertising Company … Not a Hardware Company

“What We Are Not …”

Who started this new mantra or marketing meme that a company is “not something”.  I believe the first time I heard something like this it was from Apple taking a swing at Google.  In a Charlie Rose interview of September 15, 2014 (http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/09/15/apples-cook-your-data-is-not-our-business/), Tim Cook was very clear in stating that Apple is not in the business of trading its’ customer data.

Now, at Microsoft’s recent convergence event, Convergence 2015 (http://convergence.evo-td.com), the new CEO, Satya Nadella, stated in his opening keynote that Microsoft is not a marketing company and not in the business of making money selling hardware.  Instead, he wanted to emphasize that they are in the business of making great software and empowering people.  Now, I know, Microsoft has not had the best track record in the past little while for consumer sentiment around its’ software, but they continue to absolutely dominate the business workplace; and, IT purchasing decision makers in many businesses continue to purchase Microsoft software because they believe it is the right choice for their organization.

So, Apple is stating that they are not in the business of selling their customers’ data.  This is clearly a swipe at Google.  And that can be their differentiator in the marketplace.  And now Microsoft is saying it is not an advertising company and not in the business of selling hardware.  They are clearly taking a swipe at Google and at Apple.  And that is fine, that can be their differentiator.  We need Google’s retort now to these two messages, or perhaps they will not reply at all.  Regardless, we have Apple and Microsoft clearly stating their unique position and offering to the marketplace.

Has The New Mantra Been Effective

How do we define effective?  If effective is simply planting the thought in someone’s head with the intent of influencing that person’s thoughts on a particular subject, then Apple has been effective with their message to me.  I also believe that that message is being heard loud and clear by lots of other folks just like me.

Has Microsoft’s new message been effective?  Well, it is still too early to tell in my opinion.  I think Satya Nadella has to get that message out there more.  He needs to hound on the fact that their differentiator, their unique proposition to consumers of their products, is about empowering people with software and that is all.  He needs to show that they are focused on software and nothing else.  That message was clear when Bill Gates was at the helm of the ship, and now with Steve Ballmer gone Satya Nadella has the opportunity to reiterate this position in the marketplace.  I am withholding judgement on whether Microsoft’s new mantra will be effective because Satya Nadella needs to sell this position more.

What Is Your Unique Value Proposition In The Marketplace?

Does your company offering have a unique position in the marketplace?  Can you effectively state what you do well and how it is different from your competitors?  At Purely CRM our focus is on Microsoft CRM.  We wanted to differentiate ourselves by not being a company that takes on all facets of an IT project.  When you only have so much peanut butter and you start spreading it across the bread, that spread gets pretty thin when you try to cover everything.  Focus, focus, focus.  That’s our position.  What is yours?