Motorola’s Xoom matches iPad price…but drops the ball on defining value


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Motorola Xoom

Motorola Mobility Holdings announced that it will start selling a $599 Wi-Fi only version of its Android 3.0 tablet called the Xoom; a price that essentially matches the equivalent iPad from Apple. In its announcement on Wednesday, the company included the normal “PR Gobbledygook” to describe the product:

“MOTOROLA XOOM is a truly innovative tablet – its design, coupled with being the first tablet to have Android 3.0, results in a user experience that is one-of-a-kind,” said Dan Papalia, vice president of retail sales for Motorola Mobility. “We are now continuing to expand the choices available to consumers with the MOTOROLA XOOM Wi-Fi to be available soon from numerous leading retailers in the United States.”

If the Motorola Xoom is truly innovative, then tell the audience why; and more important, tell them why it matters; otherwise the term “innovative” just rings hollow and will be ignored. And aside from the less than 5% of the market who actually understand the benefits and value of Android 3.0, it would have been nice for Don Papilia to actually explain why it benefits the consumer and why it’s superior to Apple’s OS. Because that’s what it will take for someone like me to consider buying the Xoom. And finally, rather than simply touting the user experience as “one-of-a-kind”, Motorola needs to explain what the user experience really is. Make the description so clear and so easy to understand that readers will come to that “one-of-a-kind experience” conclusion themselves.

Far too often, marketing messages (including press releases) resort to PR Gobbledygook; phrases like “innovative,” “one-of-a-kind,” along with “ecosystem,” and my favorite “fuses innovative technology with human insights”–phrases all included in the full Motorola press release. My advice; get rid of the gobbledygook and focus on the two or three benefits that will persuade the target audience to go out and buy the product. And make sure that the benefits are so clear and easy to understand, that the audience comes to the desired conculsions themselves. (“Wow, this product is really innovative.” or “Wow, this sounds like the Xoom is really easy to use; it’s so different from the other tablets out there.”)

Here’s the takeaway: Drop the gobbledygook; make sure the benefits are crystal clear; and focus on the two or three reasons why customers should purchase Xoom. That alone should increase sales.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Patrick Lefler
Patrick Lefler is the founder of The Spruance Group -- a management consultancy that helps growing companies grow faster by providing unique value at the product level: specifically product marketing, pricing, and innovation. He is a former Marine Corps officer; a graduate of both Annapolis and The Wharton School, and has over twenty years of industry expertise.


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