Friday, March 31, 2006

Microsoft – trying to appear small

Who’s the king of the castle? Ask around – who is the richest person in the world? The answer is automatic – Bill Gates.

Who’s the biggest company in the world? Again the automatic response is Microsoft. In fact calling Microsoft big is like calling Kate Moss good looking.

So if you are the biggest in the world – why not trumpet that from the ramparts? - Because we tend to mistrust an entity that is too big. We believe that huge corporations are impersonal behemoths and most of the time that is proven true.

As reported in the Toronto Star, Microsoft has decided to make itself look less big. They will “spend $150 Million (US) per year on an ad campaign to fight an image as a ‘huge’ company”. Isn’t that funny?

Many growing businesses try to look bigger than they are. Why? - Because the perception is that bigger often looks more successful, therefore better.

So what do you do when you are the king of the castle - the biggest company in the world?

Well, if you are Microsoft you try to look smaller.

Maybe you noticed the big banks trying to look ‘small and friendly’. In most cases they are neither yet they try.

What are your criteria for a small and friendly company?

The first few for me are:

Everyone knows the name of the president.
I can talk to the president.
The president will answer my calls.

George Torok

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