Brand, story, positioning and strategy, what’s working here?

I was struck by Steve Ballmer’s presentation of the Slate technology at the Microsoft WWDC and the profound difference in positioning that the two brands represent — and by two, you know which two I mean. There are, too, two human brands at the helm, and for one, it’s Mr. Ballmer’s Microsoft, and for the other, it’s Mr. Jobs’ Apple. As noted, we’ve written about some of these positionings — the human factor, the truth factor, the authenticity factor.

The issue might come down to the expression of presentation — what’s the story, who’s telling it, how is it told and who cares? Surely, the behemoth Microsoft has plenty in their audiences that care, deeply, about the product offerings. But the context that’s intriguing to me is the characterization of presentation, and how that works.

I’ve commented on Steve Jobs, and his style of presentation — directed, slightly assertive and focused on a tight agenda.

Relational, intimate, activated:
Steve Jobs | Steve Ballmer: Devices to be Proud: presentation and leadership.

Marketing strategy and product utility and context:
Steve Jobs | Steve Ballmer: Devices to be Proud: presentation and leadership.

I’d contrast that to Steve Ballmer, his methodologies and demeanor, and leave it to you to envision:

Presence, presentation, visualization:
Steve Jobs | Steve Ballmer: Devices to be Proud: presentation and leadership.

Gesture, demeanor, character:
Steve Jobs | Steve Ballmer: Devices to be Proud: presentation and leadership.

• presence
What is the force of demeanor, the confidence and articulation of content — how fluent?
• dress
What’s the style of dress of performance, what’s the distinction that might be memorable?
• sequencing
What is the nature of the sequence of the content — intro, pace and excitement, enthusiasm and gesture, body language that evinces the story?
• high notes
Is there a crescendo — a rising pitch to presentation climactic moment (or series of staggered moments) that really beats the drum of energy?
• visualization
To the nature of visualization, what is the quality of the interface and the character of how that’s manifested in the content — seamless, flowing, intriguing and engaging?
• speed
How fast is the content presented? In the presence of the digital brood, speed is crucial in the expression of ideals.
• dynamics of content
If there are references, how powerful are they, do they really tell the story, is the storytelling captivating?

I’ll leave to you to decide. Then, we’ll talk about Bezos’ presentation style, for the next degree of comparison.

t i m

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