How Rumours, Lies And Gadget Reviews Can Get The Better Of Pre Launch Nerves

Word of mouth can play a big part in promoting a product; it’s something that clever marketing departments have known for a long time and used to their advantage. But it’s also something that has to be approached with caution. It’s all very well if the word of mouth that a product creates prior to its launch is positive, but if it’s negative, the product can sink without a trace, no matter how good it is. Gadget reviews that manage to get hold of products before their launch play a huge part in creating the buzz around a product that make it a huge success from the moment it hits the shelves.

It goes without saying that the bigger a fan-base any given company has the more likely it is that anything produced by that company will create a positive pre launch buzz rather than a negative one. Apple, the US based electronics company, have always benefitted from this, especially in recent years. The fact that the products Apple manufactures have monthly magazines dedicated to them, that run favourable gadget reviews is also significant.

For months before the launch of the latest Apple operating system, OS X Leopard, fan forums and blog pages were full of talk about how good the new software would be. Gadget reviews online and in magazines gave tantalising snippets of information to Mac users about many of the 300 new features that were rumoured to be included in the new operating system and the fans lapped it up.

The buzz that was created in the run up to the launch was text book; finding anything negative about the new product in any gadget reviews was like finding a needle in a haystack, and it hadn’t even gone on sale yet! The fact that the product did live up to all the hype, of course, meant that Apple could use this positive momentum and not waste time and resources combating any negativity. It’s a scenario that Microsoft could only wish for when they launched Windows ME.

Windows Millennium Edition was supposed to be the best PC operating system ever. It was supposed to iron out all previous Windows problems and offer the user a completely new experience but months before it hit the shelves it hit problems. Initial reports in gadget reviews sections of magazines and online said it offered little from the previous version, Windows 98, and had even gone backwards in many areas.

Gadget reviews questioned its reliability and rumours that it was prone to crashing and riddled with bugs were rife. Microsoft certainly didn’t do itself any favours by simultaneously launching another version of Windows, 2000, which many regarded as more stable and advanced. The result was that when it was finally available to buy uptake among early adopters was slow. It became the least favourite version of Windows ever.

Microsoft has always suffered from this type of pre launch publicity with many of its products receiving luke-warm reviews at best. The story for apple could not be more different. Gadget reviews for its products are almost always positive, even rumours about future launches seem to go some way to cementing Apple’s position as a design and technology leader.

With this in mind it’s hardly surprising that whenever Apple launches a new iPod, iPhone or iMac there are queues around the block full of people eager to be the first to try out the new technology.

Dominic Donaldson is an expert in the technology industry.
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