By Carl Howe
After writing about the strategy and marketing behind Apple's iPhone price cut to $399 Friday, I was most amused to see Woot imitating Apple (AAPL) with a price cut on the Microsoft (MSFT) Zune to $129. It's a one-day only deal, so I've captured the image up above. But considering that even a refurbished previous generation 30-Gigabyte iPod (Apple no longer makes a disk-based iPod that small) will set you back $200, it certainly demonstrates that the dollar value difference between Apple's and Microsoft's marketing skills.
But note I didn't say Woot's marketing skills, because Larry Stalin's apology letter accompanying the price cut (and lampooning Steve Jobs) is literally priceless. Here are some excerpts.
Second, I am sure that we are making the correct decision to lower the price of the 30GB Zune from $149.99 to $129.99. This confidence is based on more than the holy doctrine of corporate infallibility. The Zune is a breakthrough product, and we have the chance to “ride the lightning” and “shoot the curl” this holiday season, not to mention “kill the messenger” and “rock the vote”, further enabling us to “pay the rent” and “keep the lights on”. It benefits both Woot and every Zune user (but especially Woot) to drag as many new victims as possible into the Zune “dungeon”. We strongly believe that misery loves company this holiday season.
Third, being in technology for 1+ years, give or take a year, I can attest to the fact that the technology road is bumpy. There is always some idiot changing lanes without signaling, and the potholes never seem to get fixed. If you always wait for the next price cut or to buy the new improved model, you’ll never buy any technology product. I mean, why should you? Truth is, you don’t really need any of this junk. We’re afraid you’ll catch on to that fact and overpaid frauds like me will have to go back into fields like telemarketing and burrito construction. Fortunately, most of you continue to languish in a consumerist stupor, wallets spread wide for us to plunder as we please. The bad news for us is that if you buy products from companies that support them well, you will receive years of useful and satisfying service. But we’re hoping you’ll buy from Woot instead.
I have to say, Larry's pitch was so entertaining and funny, I was sorely tempted to buy one just to reward the guy for his creativity. Larry's proven ability to convert someone who has no interest in a product into a prospect demonstrates that he has a very bright future ahead in either comedy writing or marketing. I hope he sticks with marketing. It might pay better, and we need the laughs.