Software Marketing Review: Firefox

See how other companies market their software. This is part of a series of reviews looking at examples of software product marketing: “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”

Mozilla Firefox

The home page for Firefox is a supreme example of concise software marketing. Your software will almost certainly need more text, but consider this as a paragon of brevity that showcases how you can avoid listing features and specifications.

Below is a screenshot from Firefox’s home page. Let’s look at what works well and what doesn’t. I have marked up

  • The Good
  • The Bad
  • The Ugly
Firefox Home Page

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

The Good. Great examples of software product marketing best practice

  • 1. Mozilla Firefox is widely known and used. Their priority audience is presumably people who have always used Microsoft Internet Explorer to access the Web. They are probably non-technical people who used Internet Explorer because it was already installed on their PC.

    So the text completely avoids anything remotely technical. It does not even say Firefox is a browser. Instead, it describes Firefox as making the web a better place. One that looks better, is faster, and is more awesome.

    Mozilla have stood back and looked at this from the perspective of their intended audience. Their audience are not looking for a faster browser or better standards compliance… In their own words, the benefits they want are for “The Web to be faster” or “The Internet to be better.”

    Mozilla probably consider people who already use earlier versions of Firefox to be a lesser priority. But this same text works for them too. It can be read to mean that Firefox 4 has a new look, is faster, even more awesome than previous versions.

  • 2. These are secondary benefits. They are completely non-technical and everyone will want them.

    The last one “Stay Safe. We’ve got your back” is excellent on several points.

    • It is positioned here as the last benefit, not because it’s the weakest but because it’s the strongest. Eyeball tracking studies show that the bottom-right corner is a place that people focus on after the top-left corner.
    • Security online is a concern for everyone. Instead of using negative and technical phrases like “avoid viruses”, “don’t be fooled by phishing sites”, Mozilla keep it superbly simple “Stay Safe”.
    • Having raised the concern about security, Mozilla quickly reassure people with “We’ve got your back”. Not only do people get the benefit of being safe but they get the benefit of not having to do anything—it’s covered for you.

The Bad. Could be improved

  • 4. A normal image of a website browser would not work. The focus would be the website. Instead, Mozilla are cleverly showing just the frame of the website to establish that this is the software used to visit websites.

    However, I’m not entirely sure about the three “monsters”. I guess they are a visual metaphor for all the bad stuff out there on the web: viruses, pirates, scammers… And the monsters have been made cartoony to indicate that Mozilla are kid friendly and cool. I think the intention is to show that the bad guys cannot break into this browser because it is so safe.

    But two details confuse me.

    1. The purple monster appears to be successfully eating part of Firefox. So Firefox is not completely safe?
    2. The yellow monster has the letter “M” on its baseball cap. Does this represent Mozilla? or Microsoft? If this is just a random letter why include it?

The Ugly. Examples to illustrate what you should not do

  • Nothing ugly here

Best Practice

Mozilla show how software benefits can be explained concisely without any technical terminology.
Can you describe the benefits of your software without using any technology terms?

How brief can you be?

Join the Discussion

  • Do you think this is a best practice example?
  • Why do you think that “M” is there?
  • What would you do differently?
  • Suggest any examples of best (or worst) practice for software product marketing

Please add a comment below or contact Giles @ Smart

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