[IAEP] Sugar on a Stick v2 Release Naming

Sean DALY sdaly.be at gmail.com
Thu Sep 10 03:41:31 EDT 2009

I'm sorry Martin, I thought I was answering

No, there wasn't "marketing decided", it was Tomeu who thought of
flavors, myself who thought of ice cream flavors (preferably fruit
since "natural" wholesome sugars, a "fun treat for kids"), and
sdziallas who agreed to the idea at the marketing meeting. I do
clearly remember the problems we encountered due to the disconnect
between the development and marketing teams - launch date was moved
up, marketing had to work in panic mode; luckily only one publication
noticed in the end. Since then efforts have been made by all to stay
on the same page. The key takeaway is that marketing is not something
that is tacked on at the end when something is ready for release, it's
part of the development process.

About the logo, it's the "blueberriest" one we will want, variant 4,
the one we used in the marketing materials prepared for the Strawberry
launch, variant 6:

But, again, there's no advantage to choosing the flavor/color beyond
the next one. We should together pick the v3 flavor in a few months,
not as a function of the 12 logos we have, but rather the catchiest
and most fun one. (And we should avoid obscure insider names at all
costs - that doesn't help in spreading the word.) I agree Chocolate
should be on the shortlist and when the time comes, we should ask
Christian for a chocolate-y logo. I like Gooseberry because it is
unusual - I haven't picked one since I was a lad and a screenshot of
Browse or InfoSlicer with gooseberries will be delightful. Cherry is a
good candidate in a year or two (not sooner, we just did a red one).
Mango is associated with orange. Raspberry could be a good purple one.
Vanilla has the association "boring" or "plain"; many parlors call it
"French Vanilla" or "Madagascar Vanilla" to spice it up. If we are
lucky, the flavors will catch on and capture imaginations and the
community (maybe even Learners!) will want to suggest future flavors

The surprise factor is for everyone who follows us, and particularly
those who don't follow us yet: journalists, bloggers, teachers,
parents. Good coverage by influential journalists and bloggers is by
far the most efficient way to spread the word. Word-of-mouth is
incredibly effective too, especially once journalists get ahold of it
and amplify it; the best way to build word-of-mouth is to have an
incredible offer... SoaS is not there yet since the classroom
infrastructure (documentation, local integrators, school server,
one-click install, extreme reliability, hardware compatibility list,
etc.) is not ready. But that's not a problem, because we said as much
in the Strawberry press release - we are building excitement while not
overpromising, and steadily improving the offer.

To me the best bet would be for developers who work "under the hood"
to stay with the numbering system - it is precise and understandable
to initiates (while being unfortunately incomprehensible to
outsiders). Perhaps the best example of how this is done well is Apple
- every one of their computer models has always had a specific number,
but their marketing is centered on names: "MacBook", "iMac", "Mac
Pro". There have been 50 million or so iPods sold, with the line
renewed every six months, and each line having variants; every model
has a development number, but they are all "iPods" and are only
differentiated in marketing as classic, nano, shuffle, and touch.
Consumers have a crystal-clear idea of what an iPod is and does.

I saw on the SoaS roadmap page an entry "RH magazine story to be
confirmed". Unfortunately there's no surer way to kill a news story
than to talk about it months in advance. News breaks because it is
unknown and of interest. When we respond to journalists with
background, send visuals, discuss story angle etc. we don't talk about
it on the marketing list right after, because that pulls the rug out
from under the story. We wait until the story breaks (crossing our
fingers for a fair and accurate report) then monitor its impact. But
this is not just passive: we make news, and to make newsworthy news,
we develop a campaign which also reinforces bigger ideas such as
"Sugar Labs is alive & kicking & growing", "Sugar is international",
"Sugar is free software developed by volunteers", "Sugar needs
talented FOSS developers". Part of making news is developing
relationships with good journalists, briefing them before the launch
under embargo; they appreciate having a scoop and can even comment
more intelligently on the story misreported by others. Of course,
anyone with the time could read through all our list postings, attend
all our IRC meetings, come to SugarCamps, and mail us with questions
in order to be perfectly up to date about the project. But at that
point, they are on the cusp of being a "contributor" ;-)

Is this clear I hope?



On Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 12:30 AM, Martin Dengler
<martin at martindengler.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 09, 2009 at 11:56:25PM +0200, Sean DALY wrote:
>> On Wed, Sep 9, 2009 at 11:13 PM, Martin Dengler<martin at martindengler.com> wrote:
>> > On Wed, Sep 09, 2009 at 10:57:00PM +0200, Sean DALY wrote:
>> >> In fact Martin if I remember correctly we had already discussed this
>> >> on-list... I will try to find the thread.
>> >
>> > Please let me know.  I did google for 'sugar "ice cream" soas' before
>> > I said I couldn't find anything besides the IRC meeting I mentioned.
>> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/archive/marketing/2009-June/001546.html
> But that's just me asking again where the flavours policy came from
> :), and you saying it came from the meeting I mentioned, and me saying
> I didn't catch it then, and...is it still Groundhog day?
> Well, Marketing decided Ice Cream flavours shall be the names of
> releases.  Done.
>>  The beauty shot of the branded USB sticks for example was designed
>> to have the colors of the first four versions of SoaS, and hence be
>> reusable... since we won't have a pro photographer willing to help
>> us out every time.
> Ah - so perhaps this:
> http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:Logo_white_05.png
> ...is the logo you want, not the one I mentioned in my email:
> http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:Logo_white_04.png
> ...?  C'mon, it took a while to get the ice cream flavour choice sunk
> in, please don't leave us hanging on the logo choice...what do you
> want it to be?
>> Other FOSS projects, distros likely have excellent software
>> development methods... I can't comment intelligently on that. However,
>> without naming names, I can say that most of them have sorry marketing
>> indeed.
> Yes, and that's why _I_ asked _you_ questions, which you...didn't
> answer.  You did quite politely say "[geeks are bad at marketing]"[1].
> I don't want to waste your time: you don't have to convince me of
> that, and I doubt anyone else is going to ask you to prove it either.
> So:
>> >> The idea is to maximize launch impact by keeping the element of
>> >> surprise on our side.
>> >
>> > Ok...who are we surprising, though?  The journalists?
> ...and:
>> > [option a] Perhaps Fedora's "each code name is related to the last
>> > in an insider-known way that it's fun to guess" might be a way to
>> > speak to both needs?
>> >
>> > Or [ option b ] developers can just settle for talking about
>> > [releases] in terms of integers, which isn't so bad.
>> >
> Which is it to be - a) or b)?  I'll listen, now, really.
>> Sean.
> Martin
> 1.
>> This is not a reflection on the projects; geeks understand
>> that they need to do marketing and PR (and of course community
>> relations and recruitment, which are interrelated), they just don't
>> have the experience. Although marketing/PR looks ridiculously easy to
>> do from the outside, the reality is that if it were that easy,
>> projects wouldn't have so much trouble getting known. The phenomenon
>> of GNU/Linux desktops failing to gain marketshare on the desktop over
>> the past decade has everything to do with poor marketing (as well as
>> stiff - and not always fair - competition).
>> So rather than seek inspiration from other FOSS projects, I'd much
>> sooner seek inspiration from organizations/companies/projects which
>> broke out and grew quickly in recognition. Inspiration, but not
>> copying: the Spread Firefox campaign for example was very effective
>> indeed in 2004, but the methods used were specific to the browser
>> market and the context of the time. We have the fabulous opportunity
>> to break new ground, and innovate marketing on a shoestring which
>> spreads the word better than capitalized companies... all we have to
>> do is be smart, consistent if we can (damage control wastes precious
>> resources), and create initiatives instead of waiting for the phone to
>> ring.

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