Branding: Zune vs. Ipod

What is important for a product to succeed? Being released first? Having the most advanced technology? Having more features? Some of these questions are always asked either we are about to launch a new service, product or even for our design jobs. The Zune case is very interesting. Even though it has a better hardware, more features and even, I believe, more money invested in promotion, it has not been able to beat the iPod.

It is very interesting to follow these battles between brands, such as Coca vs. Pepsi, iPod vs. Zune or even Mac vs. PC. We have been posting some articles showing some of this strategies, and today let's talk a bit about the iPod x Zune.

I believe everyone knows the Apple iPod and probably the Microsoft Zune as well. When Apple released the iPod, they showed to the world that you don't need neither the best hardware nor the most featured equipment to succeed, rather, what matters is the user experience. With a nice strategy of highlighting the simplicity, with slogans such as "1000 musics in your pocket", the iPod became a hallmark in gadgets history.

"Microsoft launched several campaigns to jump-start the Zune. The company had a major campaign to promote Zune with "Music the way it wants to be" as a major theme and "Welcome to the social" as an advertisement tagline. Also, the company enlisted about 300 "Zune masters" to advertise the device on American college campuses, to promote the item, and to run Zune-related events. In exchange, they received free merchandise, including a Zune..."

Microsoft saw the potential market, a bit late as usual, and decided to release their own Mp3 player which they called Zune. It has always had many much better hardware (along with the money investiment for promos). Even with all that, it was a failure. With slogans such as "Welcome to the Social", they tried to sell how cool it was the fact that Zune had wi-fi built in and allowed to share songs with your peers.

"The choice of branding and distribution were part of the Zune as a decision of two strategies in the market right now: cross-brand ecosystems... and singular brand ecosystems... The former is gaining in share and units sold, but the latter has enormous share and won't give that up easily."

In terms of marketing and sales Zune wasn't able to beat Apple and the iPod, however in terms of investing in creative people to promote their service, Microsoft, without any doubt, put together a legion of amazing designers and digital artists to create ads for them, guys such as Adhemas Batista, Doug Alves, Si Scott and many more....

One thing is clear: in this battles, the only winner is us consumers, who are in the middle of a war, but in a good way. A war to see which company will be able to please us with the best product. Talking about slogans, I didn't many Zune ones, so that makes clear that Microsoft doesn't try to make it look good as much as Apple does. There's a full section in Wikipedia dedicated to Ipod slogans. Here are some:

IPOD Slogans

  • "1,000 songs in your pocket." (2001) used to promote the first generation iPod's large storage capacity and compact design.
  • "The best keeps getting better" (2004) used to market iPod fourth generation.
  • "10,000 songs in your pocket." (2004) used to market iPod fourth generation.
  • "Life is random." (2005) used to market iPod shuffle.
  • "Enjoy uncertainty." (2005) used to market iPod shuffle.
  • "Which iPod are you?" (2006) used to market iPod family.
  • "Clip and go." (2006) used to market the second generation iPod shuffle.
  • "Now there's even more to touch." (2008) used to market the iPod touch firmware 1.1.3.
  • "Play more than music. Play a part." (2008) used to market the iPod (PRODUCT) RED.
  • "Everybody Touch" (2008) used in the new iPod Touch commercial.
  • "The funnest iPod ever" used on their website to promote the second generation iPod touch
  • "Millions of songs. Thousands of videos. Hundreds of games." used on their website to promote the second generation iPod touch
  • "Small Talk" used on their website to promote the new iPod shuffle

Video Ads

Here are some cool videos both from Ipod and Zune. I didn't post everyone I've found... I'll post them some other time.

Also, we'd like to know what's your opinion about Zune's and Ipod's campaigns. How do you like it? Which one do you prefer? Would you change anything? Tell us! Cheers! ;)

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