He understood, if you want to be relevant, you need to be in the conversation. Even if you don’t like everything you hear…
Despite our entry into the market with a highly differentiated and well reviewed product, this is the conversation that was going on.
How do you change the conversation? It’s not as easy as holding the conch at the start of lord of the flies.
It’s actually a bit more like this. You need to pick a fight.
In our case, it was easy. We saw that others were focused on speeds and feeds, because what consumer doesn’t want things to happen faster?And they used benchmarks to prove these claims. But what if we could shift the benchmark from synthetic to real world?
That’s just what we did, starting at CES.Ben walked the show floor and challenged folks engrained in tech to a contest to see whether his Windows Phone or their alternative phone could be used to do simple tasks faster. Not only did Ben win almost every time with his Windows Phone, but we got a great response to the videos. Over 500k views on YouTube for low-drag tradeshow endeavor
Why? The reason it caught on was threefold:It was realIt was a conversation, not stagedWe took risks, and accepted that we’d lose some
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Having proven the model worked, we needed to scale it out. That meant moving beyond Ben, but retaining the spirit of the way he approached the challenges. Open, humorous, authentic.
You can’t fake a dialogue. Either its two way, or it isn’t. Here’s how Ben walked the talk and turned a crisis into an opportunity.
UK (Dare to Live campaign – street teams, radio and online ads, Facebook presence including video, photos of challenges), Brazil, Chile, China, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Korea, Russia have had ongoing programs, and at dozens of customer facing Microsoft events around the world. 38 countries have launched the program with consumers in some form. Localized by region – prizes, venues, language. All unique based on the culture, geopolitics, etc. (requesting more details)
The results speak for themselves. It resonates because it’s real. And because it’s grown organically, the fans feel like they’ve shaped it, which further increases their buy in.
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Take risksAlign strong product truth with customer insightBe flexible and let the customer leadUse friction to your benefitLocalize and internationalize
Case Study: Smoked by Windows Phone, Speaker — David Webster (Microsoft)
The only thing worse than being talkedabout is not being talked about
First on your “pre-fight” checklist:PICKING THE FIGHT…THAT YOU WANT TO PICK
Not your usual fine print…“The great news for you as a challenger is thatI’m not going to force you into a specificscenario; we’ll make the call together based onthe things that you do every day on yoursmartphone.” – Ben Rudolph
8,000,000+The total number of views of Smoked by Windows Phone videos since it kicked off in January.95%Percentage of viewers who liked Smoked videos on YouTube.39The number of countries running Smoked by Windows Phone.50,000+This represents the number of smartphones that have been Smoked by Windows Phone.98%Windows Phone’s global win percentage. This includes everything from CES through today.100,000,000+The estimated number of people who’ve seen, participated in, or read about Smoked byWindows Phone worldwide.
Take risks Be flexible and let the customer lead Align strong product truth with customer insight Localize and internationalize Use friction to your benefit Remain humanPEOPLE ARE THE HEART OF ANYCONVERSATION, NOT COMPANIES