my life after graduate: [FIREFOX-GOOGLE] Marketing Firefox-Google at the grassroots

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

[FIREFOX-GOOGLE] Marketing Firefox-Google at the grassroots

I am a student at a Malaysia university and I feel Google-Firefox should work toward setting up student marketing groups at all universities in the country. This will help Google-Firefox to engage the student community and also grant an opportunity for student who strong belive in Google-Firefox's philosophy to work for these companies. This would also help these companies to prepare the next generation of marketing professionals who can take Google-Firefox forward through the years.

The next question would be: What would these Google-Firefox marketing groups do? The answer is very simple. Marketing students are always on the lookout for project ideas. In fact, many students of marketing like me are always on the hunt for project ideas that can be convereted into a thesis/research study. Such an arrangement would serve both groups -- students get to work on live, industry-relevant projects, and Google-Firefox gets to test out new ideas and methods of marketing.

We're among the UTP students especially ITIS working with Mozilla to spread Firefox, and in fact, we have launched a Google-centric campaign and need your help:You may have heard something about all of us Stanford students working hand-in-hand with the Mozilla folks to help spread the word about the best browser out there – Firefox.

You GET Firefox. You know why it’s the best darn browser out there, and you probably wouldn’t want to use anything else to access the Internet.

Although Firefox is the obvious choice for you, there are millions of folks out there who don’t realize that the browser matters or even, what a web browser is. In fact, many people that we spoke with thought that GOOGLE was their web browser.

So, we decided to create a message they would understand:

If you want to google better, use Firefox for Internet. It’s just that simple.

We’d like to ask your help. Your mission, unless you love interweb explorer:

Step: Head to your local bookstore, library, magazine stand, etc. and slip a bookmark into every computer/internet troubleshooting book/magazine in sight.

OR

Go to SpreadFirefox.com and be affiliate by increasing your affiliate score. Or do you want some profit, go with Google Adsense, put your Firefox Referral button in your website, portal, forum and blog.

Of late, I have been thinking of ways to transform Firefox into a spunky, hard-hitting brand. After all, we live in a world that’s increasingly relies on marketing and advertising blitzkriegs to create an impact. Be it multi-million dollar promotions or cost-effective viral marketing campaigns (remember The Blair Witch Project’s viral marketing campaign?). Firefox, too, should be looking at its options. While I realize that Firefox is driven more toward community marketing than million dollar ad campaigns, one shouldn’t discount the power of ad campaigns and what it can do for a brand.

When I began thinking about a branding strategy for Firefox, I asked myself a question: What should the Firefox brand represent and who should it target? Also, what would be the most cost-effective strategy and target segment?

I concluded that the Firefox campaign should comprise two components: Youth and Spunk. Why Youth and Spunk? First, the fastest way to create a buzz in the market is to target the Youth. Youth spreads the word faster than any other age group. Besides, when it comes to the Internet, this segment seems to be the one that has the biggest influence. But the question that arises is: What influences the Youth? The answer is Spunk! The Youth today lives in a world dictated by fashion statements and fashion icons. Almost all youth products are being transformed into fashion statements.

iPod is a case in point: Look at what Apple did with iPod. Who would have thought that an audio-visual device could become a fashion statement? It’s the word of mouth that’s driving iPod sales. And, this word of mouth is sustained by a campaign that captures the essence of Youth. And that is Spunk!

I feel most computer users have two lives and two personalities -- the real life and the virtual life. And, both these lives have their own personalities. Of course, each personality feeds off the other. My next argument stems from this belief.

I have been observing how Internet users interact with their laptops and desktops. Look at their screensavers or their desktop pictures. What do you find? Don’t these screensavers and desktop images give you a peek into their personalities? People are spending more time on their laptops and PCs than ever before. And, the more time they spent on their machines, the greater is the identification they have with these devices. Today, personalizing the settings on computers and computing devices have become so easy that we see these devices being transformed from mass products to products that reflect the distinct personality of their users. Just look at any laptop or desktop; you can tell a lot about its user’s personality. These gadgets seize to be mere gadgets; they have now become extensions of their users.

So, herein lies the rationale: Create a campaign that helps Web users identify with Firefox and what Firefox stands for. The Firefox campaign should reflect Attitude, Spunk and Fire. Isn’t this what Firefox stand for? I am in the process of composing a print advertisement that captures these elements of youth. Suggestions are welcome.

That's it! Thanks in advance, and please feel free take this idea and run with it, whether you have a better design or a better distribution plan, share it here!

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