Abhishek GuptaManagement Student, Former Brand Management & BD Professional
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality have become some of the most hip words in today’s times. The sheer amount of innovations happening in this field are mind blowing. It’s justified too. The applications of these two fields can change our whole perception of reality (quite literally!).
As one dives deep into this incredible subject, one monumental name comes up – The Google Glass. Launched in May 2014, this particular piece of technology was the epitome of technological marvel. Simply put, Google took a computer, fit it into a spectacles frame and allowed you to see the world with much more information. Be it maps, videos, songs you could see it and hear it all through this device. A lot of sci-fi movies come to mind, don’t they?
Yet, very few of us would have even heard about this product least of all know exactly what it was or how much it costed. So what happened? A technological marvel + Google should have equalled success right? Wrong! This product didn’t just fail, it failed so bad that Google recalled in less than a year. Imagine That!
So where did a massive Giant like Google go wrong? Let me give you a hint- It wasn’t the product itself.
Google dropped the ball in the Marketing of Google Glass. BIG TIME!!
When launching a particular product, it is extremely important that along with creating sufficient buzz around it, you give a call to action to the user. While Google Glass started well with their sampling and teasers, they never announced exactly when the product was coming. There was no launch date. As a result, after spending millions of dollars on celebrities, influencers and PR, it never converted into hard sales.
Next, no one ever figured out why Google Glass was so amazing and why they should buy it. Any new disruptive product or service is the leader, trendsetter and market creator. They are first in the market. So, until and unless they explain, in the simplest words, what their product is and why one needs it, a market will never really be created. People will never realise the product’s true potential. This is exactly what happened with Glass as well. Google simply failed to explain the awesomeness of its product and as a result, a market segment was never really created.
Lastly, the biggest and perhaps the most important thing when it comes to any new product is its availability and visibility. Google Lens failed here too. When their launch and marketing activity was at its peak, along with not giving any CTA, the availability of the product itself was a mystery of its own. Without product availability, the whole system and budget just fell through. By the time Google Glass finally arrived on scene and people could physically see it, Google had already missed its peak and started spiralling down towards a product recall in Jan 2015. Talk about dropping the ball.
As we, as a global community, move towards technological disruptions and creating crazy, futuristic products, Google Glass should serve as a lesson and a case study on exactly how important Marketing, Sales and Operations are.
While I go start researching on another such interesting brand product, do let me know your thoughts on this not so incredible journey of the Google Glass. What should they have done better?
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