Combotronic: How not to launch a new product

When I posted about Combotronic back in November, I didn’t think that much about it. I saw the ad in a magazine. I went to the “site”. I found an Apache configuration page and decided it would make a good blog entry.

Little did I know that it would become one of the most-visited pages on my site. For quite some time, this site was the #1 search result for the term “Combotronic.” Now it’s #2. I found it funny that an employee of Combotronic used my blog to announce information about their product. Hello?!? That is what YOUR website is for. You know, to give customers information! Combotronic’s actual site is up, but it’s useless. It certainly doesn’t give technical specifics or buying information. If it’s a “coming soon” product, the site doesn’t say so.

Today, we learn in the comments that it was in fact vaporware:

Since our product application concept is new in the market, the main objective of our marketing campaign at the meantime is to arouse public alertness. Therefore, in our current website and advertisement, we only put the brief information and highlight the unique characteristics of our product. We are sorry for causing any confusion to some web-browsers. Of course, more information will be posted while the grand sale opening is approaching. Customers are welcomed to place their order via our official website effective 15 March 2006.

I already see how you use the web to communicate with English-speaking customers. Now you want me to give you my credit card number?!? I don’t think so.

I know and appreciate that there is a language barrier. But that aside, there is now no way I would buy this product. A two-page spread in major magazines that interested me let to a website that sent me running for the hills. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t find that good marketing strategy in any language.

I’m very happy with my iGo everywhere130.