Xbox Globalization

Here is an interesting Q&A with Peter Moore, global marketing chief of Microsoft’s Xbox. They have offered a subscription-based, online Xbox service for a couple years now and we find that Microsoft now offers the service in 24 countries and has over a million subscribers. Not too shabby.

Here the most relevant excerpt from the interview:

We are trying now to globalize our marketing message, something that has never been done in our industry before. Typically, the marketing message has been regional, if not local. Now we have this incredible vehicle called Xbox Live, which gives us the opportunity to speak with one voice to a consumer, whether in Beijing, Bangkok, or Barcelona.

.. Certainly soccer was one area we felt required no translation, no real localization and no explanation of the rules. It crosses all boundaries, all continents, and the ability for someone to play a game against somebody else 5,000 miles away — the identical game and they both totally understand what’s going on — it’s an incredible experience. Having already done it myself — it blows me away.

So, that and some other media deals that we haven’t announced yet are great examples of the things that we’re trying to do to globalize our message so that when you get off a plane anywhere in the world you feel that Xbox has the same positioning, the same statement to the consumer, and stands for the same things. Typical to our industry, it’s been very, very regionalizing. You can even see different taglines depending on which continent you’re on.

You’ve hit a little rough patch in Japan. Why is that?
Well, we’ve issued mea culpas weekly. I was just there two weeks ago giving my latest mea culpa. We made some fundamental errors — which we’re very cognizant of, and don’t hide behind — on some industrial design and some content strategy. As a result, we got off to a very rough start, and the Japanese market is somewhat unforgiving. They are very, very quality-focused consumers — perhaps the most quality-focused in the world — particularly in regard to consumer electronics.

Our launch was less than stellar in the areas I’ve just mentioned, and it’s difficult to recover. However, we’ve been doing a tremendous amount of work to make sure that when the next generation arrives, that Japan is a very, very important part of the next generation for us. I can guarantee we won’t make the same mistakes the second time around. We’re a company that’s pretty good at getting it right, if not the first time, certainly the second time.

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