Friday, October 30, 2009
Shock and Awe...the "Chipzilla" Way
This second generation iMac contained FireWire and iMovie for video editing. We were already familiar with Apple’s marketing prowess with the “1984” commercial which still ranks as the best Super Bowl Ad of all time; but what Apple was about to do was well beyond anything we were expecting. Apple was reinventing marketing the way they reinvented the computer. This was “shock and awe.”
Before we cover the Apple version of shock and awe, let’s talk about the different version sometimes employed by an industry giant we will simply call "Chipzilla".
Chipzilla incorporates a more traditional “overwhelming force” version of marketing. This is similar to the military version (Iraq War) of "shock and awe". Chipzilla is a huge company and enormously influential with their customers. No one wants to irritate them.
They also have the unique distinction of focusing their resources on a very limited number of technologies. Once Chipzilla decides to promote a technology, they do so with single-minded determination and no mixed loyalties. Every other company in the industry has mixed loyalties. Sony uses both USB and FireWire in their computers, as does Apple. Texas Instruments sells USB, FireWire, DVI, and HDMI products, as does Molex. These companies will not take a bold stand in support of one technology or another. They are concerned about alienating customers if they are too aggressive in marketing a single technology.
Chipzilla, however, will put their considerable muscle behind one technology and nothing else. Their worldwide marketing/sales team goes into every major customer frequently, carrying the Chipzilla message. I have never visited a customer without them informing me that Chipzilla was in a few days earlier telling them something considerably different than what I was telling them.
Despite widespread skepticism about the rosy projections coming from Chipzilla, no one is willing to challenge them. They are simply too strong. Everyone needs access to Chipzilla's vast resources.
Apple, on the other hand, working from a weak position, was able to use raw marketing talent to overwhelm the competition.
In dealing with Chipzilla or Apple, the result is the same; Shock and Awe. It is like taking a stand against a hurricane. They are both wonders to behold.