The VHS, DVD Marketing Story

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Somewhere Sony founder Akio Morita is smiling. As the world baby steps to a completely digital format for movies, music and other entertainment, VHS is slowly being left behind for the DVD format.

No surprise here. But this news reminds me, and those old enough to remember, of VHS and Betamax fighting to become the videotape format of choice.

Betamax is a superior technology; Beta SP is still used by professional videographers. But what Betamax really needed was market share. Morita blames Betamax’ eventual defeat on insufficient licensing. Despite the fact that it was the better product, Betamax never achieved a large enough presence to create consumer preference. VHS had gravity and won the battle.

So what’s the moral of the story? I’m a firm believer that the best marketing in the world will not make a sub par product successful. Betamax, however, reminds us that even the best product can be defeated by better marketing.

Akio Morita
DVD Leaves VHS Behind

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Kevin Dugan is the author of the popular Strategic Public Relations blog. Kevin is Director of Marketing Communications for FRCH Design Worldwide.

Visit Kevin’s blog: Strategic Public Relations.

The VHS, DVD Marketing Story
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