The New-Product Strip-Tease, Peeling off One Feature at a Time, Keeps Game Boxes in the News
When the product is late (and not having a game box for the Christmas sales season is, by definition, late), what’s left is the strip tease strategy. A company whose product doesn’t make its release date instead begins to announce product nuances one at a time until the product is eventually available. Game box manufacturers are masters of this strategy. First, they spark the media and financial analysts into droning on endlessly about key chips or new games or other aspects of the product or product ecosystem. Then, if the box is not quite ready, or if demand exceeds supply, they continue to tease.
- Nintendo teased the public about the Wii with a canard about the activity/health possibilities for kids using their game system.
- The XBox 2005 Christmas tease was “with or without disk drive.”
Back in the 1980’s, when I was working with Intel, processor delivery slipped and we invented, I believe, the new-product strip-tease strategy. We spent ten months revealing features and nuances such as MIPS, MHz, bus, cache, etc. to hold market interest and to keep Motorola at bay.
Note: A promotional strip-tease strategy is only possible with:
- Intense user interest;
- Competition: E.g., Nintendo vs. Sony; Intel vs. AMD, etc.;
- Entire information channels are dedicated to the end product, such as with sports, electronics, movies, and games.