What do you stand against?
Have you seen the “Dear Microsoft” full page letter in the New York Times?
I ask all my clients to tell me, what do you stand against? It’s part of knowing what you stand for. Knowing what you are in the world to do is also knowing what you are trying fix and what is currently broken. It’s an essential part of a Brand’s narrative. In the same way a hero needs a villain, the more despicable the better, brands can use competitors to elevate their own cause and build an emotional connection with customers.
Slack’s advert shows they are concerned about the competition from Microsoft and they could be accused of promoting Microsoft’s new products for them but the positives far outweigh the negatives here. The advert’s focus on listening to customers will play well to those who have been disappointed by some of Microsoft’s recent developments, like Windows 8/10. This all creates, loyalty and advocacy. Anyone with a beef against Microsoft is now rooting for Slack. Slack is now the underdog and we all like to see the underdog come out on top.
The advert cleverly manages to be both negative and positive. What Slack now needs to do is use this pivotal moment to regroup and ensure it stays true to its core values and that seems to be happening in this letter. It works as a checklist, a reminder, of what it does well and why. Whatever Microsoft is, Slack isn’t. What Microsoft can’t do Slack can.