The risk of Pre-Announcement Hype

kr-wap-2k Ken Rockwell, relates how Nikon hyped an announcement for weeks and then didn’t deliver.

The summary: (In Ken’s words… edited)

Nikon had been pimping a BIG announcement of its MX camera at WPPI’s BIG night.

Whatever it was, it was a product announcement so Earth-shattering and so definite that Nikon stuck its neck out for months promoting it.

What did we get after months of teasing?

Nothing!

All WPPI attendees got was a hastily-booked Blues Traveler concert instead when Nikon couldn’t deliver the goods.

All of this points out the importance of:

1) Expect and prepare for delays.  Companies have to expect them.  Rarely does Apple have only one announcement.  They que up a number of new products so that if one drops out at the last minute, the press’ time is not wasted.

2) Don’t hype early.  When talking about the level of hype, Ken uses the words “for months.”

On the other hand:

1) If the delay was because the product would not ship anytime soon, its good that Nikon held the announcement till closer to ship.

2) If the product was delayed because it was not ready for primetime, its good that Nikon held the announcement till they could showoff a great product.
Thankfully for Nikon this was an industry announcement (aimed it seems at wedding photographers) and not a general consumer announcement… (Although the product may eventually also be used by them).

But, nonetheless, Nikon still lost some credibility with (at least one) press.

Ken again… edited:

Oh well. Nikon botched BIG. The only thing BIG about it was that it was a huge failure and a humongous embarrassment. Nikon loss-of-face was incredibly BIG…

I almost went out to Vegas to cover it, based purely on that tease. I’m glad I stayed home.