Taking a PR spin with Microsoft Streets & Trips ’07

Microsoft Streets & Trips 2007The only thing I learned from an entire semester of marketing studies was that you can’t make people buy what they don’t want or need. But. You can make people feel like they have problems, and turn those problems into wants and needs.

Microsoft today introduced Streets & Trips 2007 with a GPS locater. The idea is simple: a slightly updated application based on the older Street & Trips 2006, now 1 years ahead, and now comes with a GPS receiver straight out of the box! How do you sell it? No one needs this. People have been driving fine without satellite navigation for decades, and even before that, driving even without maps for decades, so why would anyone buy this?

Whoever Microsoft paid to come up with this strategy is brilliant. Driving can cause tension. The whole press release portrays driving like the world’s most miserable activity. And why Microsoft Streets & Trips 2007 will blow all those problems away.

I kid you not, the URL for the press release is “10-11TravelTensionPR.mspx” and the adjectives used to describe driving all relate to tension. For example “…resolve the battle for the driver’s seat…”, “despite skyrocketing fuel prices…”, “add children to the mix, and a bumpy ride is sure to ensue”, “…helps to relieve common travel stress” and “…helps ease the tension between travelers”.

They forgot to mention Streets & Trips 2007 will also reduce road rage.

I would definitely try out or even buy this product considering the amount of long-distance driving trips my family takes, but like most cool (and useful) products, Australia is not considered a country significant enough to be localised for.

World map without Australia

5 insightful thoughts

  1. I bought a copy of streets and trips ’06 with a GPS reciever, so I don’t believe it’s a new deal, including the reciever. I remember woot.com offering ’06 with the reciever [There is a flavor without] for 50 bucks a while back, and I wish I woulda picked those copies up if nothing else to resell them, because I believe they retail for around One Hundred Twenty USD. Ah yes. Thanks to amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Streets-Trips-2006-Locator/dp/B000AOGDM0/sr=1-2/qid=1160587743/ref=pd_bbs_2/002-9155817-1589642?ie=UTF8&s=software

    Regardless, I love and use ’06 often, even for just finding a nice resturant or something. It coupled with my phone’s ability allow my laptop to have internet access anywhere is a definantly nice thing to have, and also very fun to show off.

  2. I love this product – since I picked up the bluetooth attachment I also use it with Pocket Streets on my cell phone. When I’m on recruiting trips, house hunting, looking for that new friend’s place, heading to that cool destination – it’s great. And I’ve got to say that when we were in Europe it *definitely* took a lot of the tension out of driving.

    I do think that we really need to improve the product though – as much as I enjoy having it, I really wish it was better (data, voice integration, etc)!

  3. i love this it allows me to take pictures with the company satellite. i can zoom it right down to where im standing within a few seconds with the lat/long coordinates and then overlay the streets.

  4. Typical, nearly 4 years later and still the map hasn’t changed.. No Australia then, no Australia now. Why does the rest of the world like to neglect us. Surely it wouldn’t be too difficult to sell Streets and Trips for a reduced price, and then sell maps separately, and offer maps for every country. Or even just offer Australia as a add-on pack that costs an extra $150 or something.

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