Communication Strategy

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Communication Strategy

  1. 1. 1 Communication Strategy for early adopters
  2. 2. 2 Table of Contents Chapter 1: Introduction.................................................................................3 1.1 Background ............................................................................................3 1.2 Objective ................................................................................................8 1.3 Research Questions ...............................................................................8 1.4 Scope of the paper ................................................................................9 Chapter 2: Analysis.....................................................................................10 Part 1- 2.1 Early adopters as a strategic target..........................................10 2.1.1 Portrait of early adopters ................................................................10 2.1.2 Point of interest for brands .............................................................13 Part 2 - 2.2 Specificities of innovative markets...........................................14 2.2.1 Innovative markets description .......................................................14 2.2.2 Innovation through the world .........................................................16 2.3 Case Examples.....................................................................................17 2.3.1 The Apple iPhone.............................................................................18 2.3.2 The T-Mobile G1..............................................................................21 2.3.3 Microsoft’s Windows Vista...........................................................23 2.3.4 The Airbus 360...............................................................................26 2.4 Summary..............................................................................................28 Chapter 3: Conclusion................................................................................30 Bibliography................................................................................................34
  3. 3. 3 Chapter 1: Introduction 1.1 Background Communication is considered to be very important in general lives and it is considered to be an important factor in the business settings. Organization like Dell, Intel, Unilever, Microsoft, HP etc give utmost importance to communication and they spend a lot in developing their effective communication strategies1. These organizations make sure that the communication strategy is directly targeting the needs of their target market. Communication strategy of an organization is considered more than just speaking or conveying the idea. However, good communication process of an organization means that the entire message is conveyed effectively and efficiently and all the members or the recipients should understand the message in an effective and an efficient manner. The employees and the stakeholders of the organization are important element in every organizational structure that is the reason why the message should be conveyed to them 1 M. E. Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8th Edn, South-Western College Publications, California, 2009.
  4. 4. 4 quite effectively2. In the similar manner if the message is not properly conveyed to them then it would result in a negative and an unfavorable response3. Different mediums are used by many organizations to improve their communication patterns and organizations all over the world are relying on new and modernized technologies. Many business organizations are focusing on the internet and they are considering it as a viable means of communication. This medium and other related medium of communications are considered to be a viable method because no body language is used in communicating and no spoken words are used that is the reason why the effectiveness of this medium is unmatched. Electronic communication has always proved to be favorable in both the short and the long run. Communication is considered to be the stepping stone of every organization and the strategies of every organization are conveyed and developed through effective communication processes. These communication processes are essential in both the short and the long run as the strategy of an organization rests on these important processes. The clarity of the message and the timing are considered to be one of the essential elements of the communication process. However, if a proper target market is not selected than even a proper and effective communication strategy can 2 E. A. Griffin, A First Look at Communication Theory,7th Edn, Irwin/McGraw-Hill, London, 2008. 3 C.L. Thill, J.V. Bovee, (2009), Business Communication Today,10th Edn, Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 2009.
  5. 5. 5 easily tarnish the well being of a certain brand4. Brands rests upon the communication strategy of their organization and their execution is purely dependant on communication strategies. The product life cycle of a certain brand is very important and essential strategic measures are based on the product life cycle of a certain brand. The product life cycle is usually based on a biological life cycle and as far as a certain brand is considered there are certain stages that are associated with the product life cycle5. The products that enter into a product life cycle are actually promoted to create the awareness of a brand. If the product has no or few competitors then in this scenario a market skimming price strategy is employed to the brand6. However, each product follows a penetration strategy or a skimming approach and enters the product life cycle. There are certain stages of a product life cycle and these stages are discussed below: Growth: Similar offerings are offered to the customers and in this scenario the competitors are attracted into the market. In this phase the products are more profitable and organizations usually engage themselves in alliances, joint ventures and they usually take each other over. In this phase the expenditure of advertising is usually very high and the core principles of brand building are applied in this scenario. The market share usually tends to stabilize in this phase7. Maturity: This is usually considered as the longest phase and the products that usually survive the earlier stage are placed at a longer period in this phase. The sales of the organization usually 4 C.L. Thill, J.V. Bovee, 2009. 5 K. Keller, Strategic Brand Management, 3rd Edn, Prentice Hall of India, New Delhi, 2007. 6 P. Kotler, G. Armstrong, Principles of Marketing, 12th Edn, Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 2007. 7 M. Grieves, Product Lifecycle Management: Driving the Next Generation of Lean Thinking, McGraw-Hill, 2005.
  6. 6. 6 grow at a decreasing rate and then they actually stabilize after a certain period of time. The differentiating elements of the products and brands are key attribute of this phase. In the similar manner the price wars and intense competitions actually occurs in this phase. The producers are leaving the market because of the poor margins8. Different communication mediums are used in this phase and the market is actually growing. Decline: A downturn actually enters in the market and this downturn sometimes affects the well being of the brand. The downturn in the market actually occurs because consumer tastes have changed or innovation occurs in the market. In this phase intense price cutting takes place and many products are wiped away from the market9. In this stage usually the phenomenon of cost cutting takes place and the marketing costs are reduced. As far as consumers are concerned, early adopters are considered as an important terminology of consumers and they actually help a brand in achieving its ultimate objective. An early adopter as implied by the name is also categorized as a trend setter and it is also labeled as an early customer of a certain organization10. The products usually takes off when it’s adopted by the early adopted because of a number of a reasons. One of the most important reason is that they are the trend setters that is the reason why other customers certain other brands would follow the early adopters. The sales of the organization increases because early adopters are buying a brand and other customers are following the early adopters. Early adopters have the tendency to make or break a certain product of service because there positive referral can help the product a lot and their negative referral to other customers can tarnish the brand image of a certain organization. 8 M. Grieves, 2005. 9 M. Grieves, 2005 10 C.L. Thill, J.V. Bovee, 2009.
  7. 7. 7 Organizations heavily rely on early adopters as they are initial adopters of a certain brand and they are usually classified and labeled as the niche market11. It is a market on which organization stresses a lot because hefty amounts of profits are attained through this market because a market skimming strategy is adopted by organizations to skim the market. However, early adopters should be dealt with care as they are ones that can be a strategic advantage for an organization. There are numerous examples of organizations in which early adopters of a certain brand are now labeled as the loyal customers. That is the reason why effective marketing strategy must be adopted by organizations to target the early adopters. However, as it stressed that a proper communication strategy is required for early adopters or any other market segment. Therefore, it should always be kept in mind that the process of communication does not just happened by itself and this process must be properly organized, built and developed. That is the reason why the first process of the communication strategy is to actually define the communication strategy12. A good and effective communication strategy helps every organization in both the short and the long run. It allows an organization to research well on its target market and gives a proper control over its strategy and through a communication strategy an organization can frame different issues properly. A proper and effective communication strategy removes the doubts from the strategy makers and it actually involves all the participants in the entire project. A communication strategy must be designed in a group and it must be conveyed to all the members of the organization because all the members 11 L. Kanuk, L. Schiffman, Consumer Behavior, 9th Edn, Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 2006. 12 C.L. Thill, J.V. Bovee, 2009.
  8. 8. 8 should plan and organize their task according to this strategy13. In the similar manner people can coordinate easily and they find out the solution of a problem. Therefore, an extensive strategy is needed in this issue of early adopters that in the initial phase organizations usually stress a lot on early adopters and the marketing campaigns are directly targeted to them. However, after a certain period of time when the product or service get acceptance then organization usually focus on the mass market in order to increase their sales figures. 1.2 Objective The objective of this research paper is to evaluate the importance of early adopters and communication strategies. However, emphasis of the entire paper is laid which communication strategy is would maintain a brand appeal to the early adopters while the launching process initiates in the mass market. 1.3 Research Questions In this paper we will discuss the following research questions in detail. These research questions are stated below: • Who are early adopters and what are the difference between an early adopter and mass consumers? • What is appealing to early adopters in terms of advertising and communications? 13 C.L. Thill, J.V. Bovee, 2009.
  9. 9. 9 • What are the benefits of early adopters when they buy a certain product before anyone else? • What are the innovative markets? • What is the phenomenon of innovation through the world? • What are the examples of campaigns that directly target the early adopters? • What are the advertising campaigns for recent innovations? • What are the best practices to reach the early adopters? • Which communication strategy is best in order to target the early adopters? 1.4 Scope of the paper The scope of the research paper is not limited because the topic of this paper is based on the marketing and communication strategies that are used to attract customers and retain them on a long term basis. That is the reason why all the attributes of early adopters and related communication strategies are discussed in this paper. The emphasis is laid on the fact that how early adopters are approached or handled when a brand is moving from early adopters towards the mass market. In the similar manner different innovative markets are identified in this paper through which the ultimate objective of this paper is achieved. However, there are certain limitations that are associated with this research like the various methods of research have their own limitations that have to be clearly gauged and realized by researchers when they make decisions in selecting the research approach to be used.
  10. 10. 10 Chapter 2: Analysis Part 1- 2.1 Early adopters as a strategic target 2.1.1 Portrait of early adopters The importance of early adopters is wide and varied and they are considered as an important element for every organization. That is the reason why organizations stress a lot on early adopters. As far as the description is concerned an early adopter is basically a person that actually embraces a new technology before others do. As far as the technological outcome is concerned early adopters usually try out new hardware items and programs. In certain scenarios they also try out new versions of the previous programs. According to strategists and analysts the early adopters make up about 13.5 percent of the total population. Early adopters usually explore the new options in the technology. However, they are not always the most daring and the most risk taking individuals. The roles of taking risk are usually taken by the innovators. Research depicts that in the entire population one person in 40 is this type. They are the ones that conceive
  11. 11. 11 and actually develop new and modernized technologies. However, these are innovators and early adopters that end up becoming successful entrepreneurs or loyal customers of a certain organization14. The early adopters are considered to be more integrated part of the social system as compared to innovators. The early adopters are usually known as the localities and they are focused a lot by many organizations. There is a huge difference between mass consumers and early adopters. Usually a mass marketing strategy is used to target the mass consumers in this strategy a firm actually decides to target a bigger segment and it actually ignores market segments differences and goes for a single offer for the entire market. These customers are usually a type of customers that are targeted through persuasion. The communication strategy that is used is targeting the mass consumers is usually designed in such a way that it will reach the highest number of people and it would influence them to buy a certain brand. However, early adopters are the ones that adopt brands at an early stage. The communication process that must be used to target the early adopters must be designed specifically and it must target the niche market and the proper needs of this market. Effective advertising and communication strategy can be used by an organization to target the early adopters in both the short and the long run. A change oriented communication strategy must be used by an organization to target early adopters. In order to pursue a proper strategy change must be pushed forward and this would result in an effective outcome where early adopters and innovators would influence and persuade other to come abroad. However, this should be always kept in mind that creating a proper communication strategy must initiate with an idea that who will actually buy the change and which group of customers will help you in both the short and the long run. As far as advertising to early adopters is concerned then it should 14 K. Keller, 2007.
  12. 12. 12 be kept in mind that when an organization is marketing a product or service to an early adopter the essential constituents of the product must be conveyed to the target market. In the similar manner a differentiating element must be attached with the brand which would attract the target market towards the products and since the target market will be the early adopters therefore if early adopters are having a certain brand then others would definitely follow it. Early adopters in nearly every market are a small group of individuals and this small group is sometimes known as niche markets. Advertising to these small groups are quite different and it is relatively different from the mass consumers15. The advertising focuses a lot on the core attributes and the needs of these markets and through this strategy higher returns are attained in both the short and the long run. In the similar manner organizations can adopt different advertising mediums like mobile advertising and transit advertising to target the early adopters. There are numerous advantageous of early adopters and their ideology of using new products. One of the most basic advantages is that other customers would follow the footsteps of these early adopters. In the similar manner early adopters can share their experiences with other members of the mass market and the sales of the organization can rise just because of the fact that early adopters are targeted in a positively and other target markets are following the footsteps of these customers. Therefore, it can be clearly said that early adopters are treated as the trendsetters and these trends would either benefit the organization or it would harm the organization in both the short and the long run. In the similar manner one of the most viable 15 M. Belch, G. Belch, Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective, 7th Edn, McGraw-Hill/Irwin, New York, 2006.
  13. 13. 13 advantages of early adopters for an organization is that they can charge a premium price to these early adopters. 2.1.2 Point of interest for brands Fans are usually considered to be more loyal to the brand in the short however the loyalty of the fans can vary in the long run. In the similar manner early adopters are normal consumers and thy first test a certain product and in most of the scenarios they are usually attracted by a new product. The main difference between a hardcore fan and an early adopter is that fans usually innovators in their buying decisions while the early adopters are normal consumers that are attracted by a new brand. The early adopters are the ones that can be the organization’s first fan or the first critic. In the similar manner it is actually the early adopter who opens the eyes an entrepreneur that he/she should implement a positive approach. It actually means a lot to be an early adopter because they actually drive the unforeseen directions of an organization. Once they have adopted a certain brand they can be very dedicated to it but it all depends upon the fact that how well the brand would focus and cater the needs of these early adopters. Dedication and loyalty of the brand id said to be maximized when an early adopter buys a certain brand and after a certain period of time he/she would recommend it to other or he/she would buy it again. This process would be considered as a positive element for an organization and the customer would be labeled as a loyal customer16. Once they have start liking a certain brand then it all depends on their personal preferences that how much money they can afford for that brand. Usually hard core fans of technology oriented products spend thousands of dollars in these brand just because of the fact that that brand is different from other available products in the market and its idea is quite novel. However, early adopters are ready to spend huge amounts of money in the initial 16 L. Kanuk, L. Schiffman, 2006.
  14. 14. 14 phase of a certain brand but once they are not satisfied with it then they would stop investing in that brand. Early adopters have the influencing power in them and since they are the ones who have tried the brand therefore there referral power is considered to be the maximum. However, this referral power can be positive and negative too and it merely depends upon the attributes and benefits of a certain brand. But once a brand is adopted by early adopters they can definitely influence their surrounding, environment and their communities. The sales of organizations can experience positive returns just by the referrals of early adopters. That is the reason why organization devise proper strategies when the market early adopters because a flaw in the marketing strategy or in the product would affect the long term objectives of the organization. Early adopters can influence their relatives, friends, colleagues etc once they try out a certain brand of a certain organization. The reputation of brands can also be tarnished by these people and these people are sometimes so dejected about a certain brand which they have adopted that they write negative reviews about that brand and this would act as a de-marketing element for a certain brand and the sales of that brand would definitely be affected by this strategy. Part 2 - 2.2 Specificities of innovative markets 2.2.1 Innovative markets description Innovative markets are actually considered to be the place in which innovation breeds. In such markets innovation emerges and revolutionary changes in processes, organization, products and thinking patterns takes place. These markets are usually considered as the center of innovation and they are embedded with technological oriented products. Changes usually take place in these
  15. 15. 15 types of markets and it usually comprises of sectors like computers, video games, information technology, digital, etc. In these markets changes takes place at a rapid pace and customers of these markets are ready for a change. The demographics of these markets depicts that these markets usually comprise of early adopters and innovators. This is because of the fact that people love to try out new gadgets and this urge of people drives technology oriented organization to invent and invest in new and modernized technologies. If we analyze the information technology market we came to know that Microsoft is considered to be the leader of the market and besides that there are certain other firms like Apple, IBM, and HP these organizations are usually labeled as the followers of this markets. Furthermore, if we consider the video gaming industry then Nintendo and Play station are considered to be core players of this industry while Xbox, SEGA and certain other players are considered to be the followers of this industry. Advertising is usually considered as a recent trend in this industry and the intense growth of games has tilted this industry as a marketing tool and different organizations are collaborating with gaming organization and they are using this medium as a viable marketing tool. The term of advergaming has initiated because of this collaboration. Research depicts that the advertising budget of Nintendo has risen to more than $300 million in a year17. In the similar all the other organization in this industry are increasing their advertising budget and research budgets because they want more and more innovators and early adopters to buy their products. In future this technological industry which includes mobile companies, computer companies and the gaming sector will move one step forward and they will cater their target market in a more effective manner. However, it should be kept in mind that the core focus of these industries 17 K.Keller, 2007.
  16. 16. 16 would be early adopters in the first phase because once they have adopted their products then other customers would definitely follow the footsteps of these early adopters. However, researchers depicts that there are certain other technological changes that are creeping into this technological sector and with the advent of IPods, LCD’s consumers are changing their preferences towards conventional items and they are adopting new and modernized products. These customers are mostly early adopters and organizations are focusing on them because they have the referral power with them. 2.2.2 Innovation through the world People are adopting new and modernized technologies and they believe that these technologies would benefit them in both the short and the long run. That is the reasons why innovations are taking place in the world at a rapid pace. Usually there are two types of perceptions that prevail in the market or in other words it can be said that there are two broad classifications of customers. These broad classifications are known as novelty lovers and misoneism. Misoneisms are usually individuals that are usually against the novel ideas and they actually reject novelty. That is the reason why few people in this classification are early adopters and these people usually belong to the European countries. They usually follow the footsteps of other customers and from their reviews and referrals they buy novel products. However, in the similar manner Asians are usually considered as technology oriented people and majority of them are innovators and early adopters that is the reason why they respond in a positive manner towards advertisements that are targeted towards early adopters. Therefore, it can be said that these perceptions of customers affect the sales and marketing strategies of an organization.
  17. 17. 17 Electronics and technological are creeping in everyone’s day to day life and organization are developing new and modernized just to cater the changing needs of its customers. Usually they follow a simple strategy that these organizations first target the early adopters and when early adopters adopt their products and services then they move towards the mass market and increase their market share through this strategy. However, these organizations are invading our lives with technology but consumers are excepting it because a perception is actually created by these organizations that anything which is new and costly is better in both the short and the long run. The financial crises and the economic stability would directly affect the buying power of customers and if recession creeps into the economy then even early adopters would face heft amount of difficulty in adopting new and modernized products18. On the other hand organization cannot lower the cost of these technological gadgets because huge amount of research and development costs are incurred in these products. Therefore, it can be said that the economic slum will directly affect the purchasing power of consumers and it would affect the sales of these organizations. 2.3 Case Examples The following paragraphs shall attempt to present a few cases and shall highlight them with regard to the relevance that they have to this thesis. In essence, each case shall be elaborated for 18 K.Keller, 2007.
  18. 18. 18 the communication strategy that each firm chose to adopt towards early adopters of products. Each case shall initiate with a brief yet comprehensive introduction to the product in hand and shall continue by presenting the cause-and-effect relationship that took place. The discussion shall proceed in a manner such that the case will be reviewed in terms of the perspective and standpoint of the early adopters of each product and shall attempt to bring forth the implications caused by the implementation of differing communication strategies in a variety of circumstances. 2.3.1 The Apple iPhone The iPhone is a GSM based Smartphone that was introduced by apple around the middle of 2007. Over twenty million units of the apple iPhone have been sold to date and more are being sold. The iPhone offers features such as a touch-sensitive screen based interface, a built-in portable media player, a sophisticated internet client, a camera equipped phone, and several other application supporting compatibilities19. With regard to apple iPhone users who chose to adopt the product early, a number of factors can be seen in apple's marketing strategy which can be interpreted to indicate that apple was unsuccessful in remaining loyal to its early adopters. The most essential factor in this regard is the fact that although the apple iPhone became extremely popular, apple decided to decrease the prices of the product after three months of the 19 K. German, Apple iPhone 3GS - 32GB - Black (At&T), CNET Reviews, 2009, Retrieved September 1, 2009, <http://reviews.cnet.com/cell-phones/apple- iphone-3gs-32gb/4505-6454_7-33674173.html?tag=contentMain;contentBody>.
  19. 19. 19 launching of the product. This came as a blow to the most faithful of apple's consumers who had bought the 3G iPhone for the original price of $599 during the first three months of the product launching. It served as a discouraging factor to Apple's consumers and the scenario worsened further when apple chose to bring down the price all the more to almost 50% of what the price of the Apple 3G iPhone was costing at the time of its launching in September 2007. Consumers who were loyal to apple and chose to buy the iPhone were communicated a message that was riddled with inadaptability when consumers were forced to make use of AT&T as their singular service provider. This served to cause the instigation of a significant opposition in the consumers when a large share of the consumers chose to make use of alternate carriers. The iPhone incorporated this limitation during its launch that had implications upon early adopters of the iPhone. Early adopters of the iPhone were forced to make use of AT&T's services. The early adopters who chose to get in line on the launching of the iPhone in stores had no other option but to make use of a two year contract with AT&T. Also, in the case of early adopters of the iPhone who already held an AT&T account, the purchase of the iPhone meant that they would have to pay additional charges in order to make use of the iPhone20. The service charges in this regard alone were ones that came to staggering amount when considered in the perspective of the two year contract upon which they applied. What came as an even more severe limitation was that apple's website openly declared that a two year contract with apple's appointed carrier was mandatory if consumers wanted to make use of all the iPhone features since it was considered by apple to be an activation requirement. This limitation pertaining to carriers was later removed and consumers were given the comfort of selecting and adopting their 20 G. Hughes, Why I'm Not Getting an iPhone, Yahoo! Tech, 2007, Retrieved September 1, 2009, <http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/hughes/14081>.
  20. 20. 20 own carriers. In this regard, it came as an unfair deal for early adopters of the iPhone, the larger majority of who were iPhone loyalists. In this regard, we can surmise that not only was apple's launching of the iPhone unfair when considered with regard to early adopters but the subsequent approach that apple maintained towards the early adopters of the iPhone was also one that was considered inappropriate by the early adopters. It is important to highlight at this point that sales data speculated by critics and market analysts shows that the iPhone has been a huge success in the consumer market but this does not serve as a reason to believe that the iPhone was just as popular across early adopters. In essence, the market share captured through early adopters remains distinct from the market share that apple captured when it decided to launch the iPhone into the mass market21. needless to highlight, the launching strategy for the iPhone was one that was designed to follow a sequence based revealing of the phone in which the phone was not released simultaneously across the US and UK consumer markets but was revealed with periodic pauses across different regions across the world. While apple's approach of initially overpricing the iPhone and then reducing the prices ever so sharply may appear to be a launching strategy with no flaws in it, the strategy was quite in appropriate when considered in the context of the fact that a product such as the iPhone 21 Vertygo Team. (n.d.), iPhone Marketing Strategy, Vertygo Team, 2009, Retrieved September 1, 2009, <http://www.vertygoteam.com/iphone_marketing_strategy.php>.
  21. 21. 21 experienced an immense degree of acceptability by apple's loyalists who willingly chose to become the early adopters and bought the iPhone at nearly 160% of the price it reached later22. We can surmise in this regard that when considering items that do not merely incorporate high levels of technology but are considered pioneering products of the technological arena, the feedback process becomes all the more sensitive with regard to early adopters. it is of the utmost importance to point out that the decreasing of the iPhone across the American market has not only led to the development of a negative sentiment across apple's early adopters but also put apple in a position where it was unable to make use of the high demand markets that it chose to launch its iPhone in after the American market. This is because of the fact that apple had to maintain the price of its iPhone at the level it had provided its American consumers with. 2.3.2 The T-Mobile G1 One of the first phones to make use of android based operating systems was the T-Mobile G1 which is also known as the HTC Dream. The operating system of the T-Mobile G1 was designed by Google while the hardware end was taken care of by HTC. The phone was released in late 2008 and was followed by the HTC Magic. The T-Mobile G1is a phone that experienced a significant degree of sales upon its release and has become a recognized phone in the US. However, it is imperative to realize that there were a large number of complaints and queries about the T-Mobile G1regarding issues such as battery 22 Anand,' iPhone: $599 to $399 – Where Apple goofed up', techcrunchies.com, 2007, Retrieved September 1, 2009, <http://techcrunchies.com/iphone-599-to-399-where-apple-goofed-up/>.
  22. 22. 22 capacity and software compatibility capabilities. These needs are now finally being addressed and T-Mobile is on the verge of launching a new mobile phone aimed at addressing areas where the T-Mobile G1let consumers down23. It is important to highlight at this point that even though the T-Mobile G1is only fairly recent in terms of cell phone release time, it has acquired a large share of the market through early adopters and it is the same segment of the consumers that is facing the sharp end of the deal. The phone that T-Mobile is about to launch is considered to be T-Mobile's second android based phone and is referred to as the MyTouch 3G. The MyTouch 3G has already acquired fame because of its enhanced capabilities but there appears to be a discrepancy when it comes to the approach that the launch of the MyTouch 3G is incorporating with regard to the early adopters of the T-Mobile G1. the general practice on the part of T-Mobile would be allow early adopters of T-Mobile G1 to avail a discount if they wish to purchase a MyTouch 3G. However, it appears that not only are early adopters of the T-Mobile G1 being deprived of a discount offer but an incompatibility is also leaving the early adopters of the T-Mobile G1 in just as deep waters. T-Mobile G1 owners cannot install the desired applications, are constricted by insufficient battery capacities, and are now facing the hassle of having to remain with their limited T-Mobile G1 operating system because the T-Mobile G1 does not support MyTouch 3G upgrades that would have otherwise been accessible to them had the T-Mobile G1 incorporated upgrade 23 T. Wimberly, Are Early Adopters of the T-Mobile G1 getting the Shaft?, Android and Me, 2009, Retrieved September 1, 2009, <http://androidandme.com/2009/07/news/are-early- adopters-of-the-t-mobile-g1-getting-the-shaft/>.
  23. 23. 23 compatibility. the only option that current T-Mobile G1owners - early adopters of the T-Mobile G1 - are left with is to purchase a MyTouch 3G if they wish to free themselves of the limitations and constrictions of the T-Mobile G1. In this regard, early adopters of the T-Mobile G1 are left to face yet another obstacle. If the millions of T-Mobile G1 early adopters are to acquire a MyTouch 3G at a discounted price, they have no other option but to wait for the next two years or for at least twenty three months after their actual buying of the T-Mobile G1. The T-Mobile G1 early adopters served to test the T- Mobile G1 and T-Mobile's decision to restrict them has led to the development of a negative sentiment across its consumers. The manner in which the case of the T-Mobile G1 differs from others with regard to the subject of the study is the fact that T-Mobile eventually decided to provide its early adopters with upgrades that would enable them to derive more productivity from their purchases and would also allow them to counter issues such as insufficient battery time, software compatibility and the like24. It is evident that this is a move on the part of T-Mobile that is meant solely for the early adopters of the T-Mobile G1. 2.3.3 Microsoft’s Windows Vista Windows Vista was released in late 2006 by Microsoft after Windows XP. Windows Vista incorporated a large number of new features that were previously not available in older versions 24 D. Murph, T-Mobile G1 Won't See Any Android Updates Beyond 1.5 (Update: Maybe It Will), engadget.com, 2009, Retrieved September 1, 2009, <http://www.engadget.com/2009/08/17/t-mobile-g1-wont-see-any-android-updates-beyond-1-5/ >.
  24. 24. 24 of Windows. Microsoft spent a large number of years working on Windows Vista and it was amidst heightened expectations that Windows vista released25. This version of Windows was meant for personal computer users and was aimed at providing users with increased security protocols as well as security infrastructure. It was observed that while loyal users of Windows and early adopters of Windows Vista chose to channel their resources towards updating their computer system from preceding versions of Windows to Windows visa, Windows vista did little to offer them that were worth their loyalty. Also, upon the launch of Windows vista, the number of errors, prerequisites and shortfalls of the system were far too many for comfort and early adopters had to go through the hassle of uninstalling Windows vista and reinstalling older versions of their operating system26. For instance, while previous versions of Windows such as Windows XP allowed users the comfort to find preinstalled drivers for their hardware within Windows XP, Windows vista left users abandoned with the hassle of having to find new drivers for their hardware and peripherals. The reason for this was that Windows vista did not come with preinstalled drivers and was designed in a manner such that it did not support plug-and-play compatibilities to an extent equivalent to that of previous Windows systems. Also, Windows vista required that early adopters of the operating system ensure the presence of a graphics card in order to make the 25 W.R. Stanek, Windows Vista: The Definitive Guide, O'Reilly Media, Inc, Cambridge, 2007. 26 A. Chandrasekhar, 18 Cool Things Windows 7 Does That Vista Doesn't, techradar.com, 2009, Retrieved September 1, 2009, <http://www.techradar.com/news/computing/pc/18-cool-things- windows-7-does-that-vista-doesn-t-628892?artc_pg=2>.
  25. 25. 25 operating system function to its fullest extent. This was yet another prerequisite that the operating system left its early adopters stranded with. While older versions of Windows greeted consumers by making optimal use of the computer's currently present resources, Windows vista responded to insufficient resources by disabling certain options that made Windows vista unique from other operating systems27. Microsoft responded to these issues by releasing patches for Windows vista that were designed to provide consumers with solutions for the problems that Windows vista was posing. However, the patches were released after quite some time and it is for the same reason that the early adopters of the Windows vista were left stranded with their installations of Windows vista without any timely assistance from Microsoft at a time when they needed it the most. Microsoft made a bit of a delay in launching the patches for Windows vista and the early adopters of the operating system had to bear all the brunt of the errors, shortfalls and prerequisites of the operating system. The late releasing of patches, upgrades and solution kits for early adopters served as a communication strategy to them with disastrous consequences. Windows vista suffered a significant degree of damage in terms of its acceptability amongst the early adopters. The effect eventually led to Windows vista losing a large part of the market share and led to the loss of a large share of early adopters as well. We can therefore concur that the communication strategy 27 S. O'Neill, Why I'm Skipping Windows Vista: IT Speaks Out, PC World Communications, 2008, Retrieved Septmber 1, 2009, <http://www.pcworld.com/article/153295/skipping_windows_vista.html?tk=rss_news>.
  26. 26. 26 and overall approach employed by Microsoft in the case of Windows vista yielded results that were far less successful than that of Windows XP and earlier versions of the operating system. In the case of Windows Vista, we can concur that as an operating system, Windows vista had the responsibility of competing with its own predecessor, Windows XP. In this regard, it was essential for Windows vista to provide early adopters with an enhanced degree of user- friendliness than they had become accustomed to with their use of Windows XP. Specific areas where Windows Vista failed to make its mark include program execution compatibility for present programs, peripheral device support and similar areas. Early adopters who chose to purchase and install Windows Vista were forced to either make additional purchases or perform extensive downloads for drivers that supported their peripherals on Windows Vista. The operating system once purchased and installed could not possibly be uninstalled now that costs had already been incurred upon it and the only manner in which the cost could be recovered even partially was to incur additional costs. Patches and fixes released much later by Microsoft saved consumers who chose to purchase Windows Vista later from the hassles of having to incur additional costs. 2.3.4 The Airbus 360 The airbus A380 is an airliner that was released by airbus in 2004. The airbus A380 is a double- deck, wide body aircraft and is known as the largest passenger aircraft in the world to date. Official plans to build the airbus A380 began in 2000 and the aircraft is currently being recognized as a monument to passenger and freight aircraft. However, the airbus A380 experienced a significant number of hurdles in its initial times with regard to early adopters. One of the earlier adopters of the A380 was Emirates airlines.
  27. 27. 27 During manufacturing, the Airbus A380 suffered consecutive delays and by the time it was finally delivered; only a small number of the orders initially placed for the aircraft remained. The scenario became such that major freighter UPS placed an order of ten Airbus A380s on the condition that it would confirm the order only if the delivery dates given by Airbus were feasible to it28. A total of two delays were observed in the finalizing of the Airbus A380 before it was available for commercial use. The consecutive cancellations of the Airbus A380 release led to a decrease in the devotion that Airbus had managed to develop for the Airbus A380 during the course of its launching and test flights. Issues such as cable installations cause repetitive failure of Airbus to deliver the Airbus A380 on the specified time. Another fact pertaining to the Airbus A380 pertains to the fact that recently this year Emirates registered a number of complaints against the Airbus A380 for nearly fifty flaws that they found in the Airbus A380. It is essential to highlight that Emirates currently ranks as the highest ranking consumer of Airbus A380 and has placed over fifty orders for the aircraft. It is therefore apparent that even though Airbus is continuously making corrections and amendments to the aircraft, a significant degree of repairing and improvement still remains to be done and the early adopters are being given the sharp end of the deal29. Considering the fact that the case in point is that of a passenger airliner where lives are at stake in the event of any mishap on board the 28 Norman, UPS and Airbus Keep Their Options Open, thedigitalaviator.com, 2007, Retrieved September 1, 2009, <http://www.thedigitalaviator.com/blog/?p=269>. 29 Procurement Asia, Emirates Unhappy With A380, procurement-online.com, 2009, Retrieved September 1, 2009, <http://www.procurement-online.com/news/11479>.
  28. 28. 28 aircraft, Emirates had to cancel a number of its Airbus A380 flights in light of manufacturing faults such as electric cable faults, engine imperfections, missing cabin fittings and the like. The case of the Airbus A380 goes to show that not only are initial communication strategies but also strategies implemented with regard to early adopters in the earlier phases of the product are just as imperative. We can surmise therefore that while it is essential for Airbus to maintain a good reputation with its early adopters in order to make the Airbus A380 a success. But the fact that the product under discussion, the Airbus A380, is a product that incorporates a significant degree of financial and non-financial significance and those consumers are not willing to take risks on it. 2.4 Summary The discussion the iPhone makes it apparent that the iPhone, being a ground-breaking communication device was highly sensitive when it was launched and the limitations and requirements that apple chose to apply in the usage of the iPhone came as a profound influence on the response that early adopters had to the later stages of the iPhone. Also, another observation that merits mentioning at this point is the fact that early adopters appeared to be not only influenced by the economical arrangement that the product offered but also by the services to which the iPhone required access. The T-Mobile G1 is yet another device that serves an as an example of the experiences of early adopters and the implementation of measures that served as communication strategies in the long run. It is apparent that the product in itself is complete but lacks certain elements when considered in retrospect to later products and it is for the same reason that it requires a significant
  29. 29. 29 degree of upgrades and the like. However, inaccessibility and rigidity of offer limitation appears to be influencing early adopters directly and it is for the same reason that this example can be used as n case with regard to the communication strategy adopted by a company towards early adopters. It is apparent from the discussion on Windows Vista that there are a large number of factors with regard to early adopters that come into play when a product is launched. Also, it is observable that each of these products discussed above was extra-sensitive to pricing, promotion, availability and product related attributes at the time of its promotion. Another equally important observation in this regard is the fact that the reaction of early adopters to new products has a tremendous degree of influence on the product's success in the long run. The case of the Airbus A380 brings to light the fact that the reliance of the success of a product does not merely rely on the reputation that the product develops with early adopters but also on the reputation that it initially builds with the early adopters. Also, just as imperative is the observation which dictates that the degree of consideration that purchasing parties are willing to give to a product in order to become early adopters is influenced significantly by the magnitude of the financial and non-financial attributes of the product.
  30. 30. 30 Chapter 3: Conclusion Therefore, it can be clearly said that communication is considered as an important tool when an organization initiates a new product or service and then it tries to market that product to early adopters. However, it is usually considered as a marketing paradox and a marketing dilemma that organizations have to satisfy both the early adopters and the mass market because both the segments are regarded as their target market. When an organization launches its products to mass market in this scenario the early adopters feel that they are not marketed properly and their needs are not properly focused. That is the reason why a proper communication strategy must be developed in this scenario which would benefit the organization in both the short and the long run. The problem statement that was discussed in this research paper was that which communication strategy would be used to make the brand appealing to the early adopters when the product is launched in the mass market. Therefore, through thorough analysis it is evaluated that a proper communication strategy is used in this scenario and the elements of communication strategy that are useful in this scenario are discussed below: • In the initial phase an organization must identify its audience and through research and analysis they must define that what are their target market. Since our target market is the mass market and no proper focus is laid on any market. However, it is the objective of the organization that it must target the early adopters. Therefore, the demographics, psychographics and other necessary information of this market must be gathered.
  31. 31. 31 • The next phase is to identify the tools of communication that should be used by the organization. In this scenario emphasis is laid on early adopters and marketing is for the mass market too. Therefore, tools like internet, transit advertising, television commercials etc and new modernized ways of advertising should be used. This is because of the fact that early adopters are more influenced by new modes of advertising and through this strategy both the mass market and early adopters should benefit in both the short and the long run. • The next phase is to actually develop key messages for the targeted audience. Since the organization is targeting the mass market therefore generalized messages can be used by the organization. However, the ultimate goal of the brand is to appeal the early adopters too. That is the reason why specific key messages should be framed by the organization. The messages should be creative, crisp and catchy so that the early adopters would easily identify that’s it’s a fresh brand that is directly focusing their need. An element of change must be used in the entire communication strategy. The key message for such a brand might be “ABC brand is just for you because it has ……..” This key message can be elaborated according to the attributes of the product and a proper you approach must be followed in the key message. In the similar manner key messages should be used in the communication mediums before starting of advertisement. However, for early adopters organization can simply focus on the differentiating element of the brand and then market it. Early adopters are attracted by the differentiation in a brand that is the reason why a brand should focus on the sustainable differentiation element. The early adopters would feel that they can acquire a brand which is different from other brands and no one else have this brand. In the similar manner, both penetration and skimming strategies can be
  32. 32. 32 adopted by an organization. The penetration strategy should be used to penetrate in the market and target the mass market. However, the skimming strategy should be used to skim the market and target the early adopters. The early adopters can easily adopt an expensive product because they would feel that other individuals cannot afford this product that is the reason why it can be a differentiating factor in them and other individuals of the mass market. • In the next stage an organization must identify that what is the final time line or scheduling of the communications strategy and how the entire strategy should be time lined. Therefore, in this scenario proper time must be distributed for the entire communication strategy. Describe each event that will be needed in the communication strategy: Target Audience: Objective: Key Message(s): Tools and Materials: Media Strategy: • In the final phase the strategy that is developed must be conveyed to all the members of the organization and all the members and the decision makers of the organization must execute this strategy in an effective and an efficient way. They must not consider this
  33. 33. 33 strategy as a fashion or a fad and a proper approach must be adopted by the decision makers of the organization to implement and execute this strategy. Therefore, the decision makers should always emphasis on the early adopters because it is the early adopters that can easily make or break a brand. There are numerous examples of this that early adopters changed the sales figures of an organization. A new category attracts the early adopters and when it is created by an organization than early adopters grasp that product in no time. Early adopters adopted the IPhone and IPod in no time and research depicts that the sales figures of these two brands of Apple were staggering in the initial phase. This is because of the fact that a new category was created in both music devices and in mobile phones and that is the reason why early adopters extensively buy these two brands and the sales figures of these two brands were staggering in the initial phase. Therefore, organizations must design and develop creative communication strategy and they must focus on the differentiation element in their communication strategies so that the early adopters can easily adopt their brand and the mass market should also benefit through this advantage. Creative ideas and new modernized ways of advertising must be utilized by the organization and through this strategy organizations can benefit in both the short and the long run.
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