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Re: [Gnustep-marketing] GNUstep Foundation

From: Nicola Pero
Subject: Re: [Gnustep-marketing] GNUstep Foundation
Date: Sat, 2 Oct 2004 01:12:33 +0100 (BST)

> I don't really think we can have worse marketing than what we have now 
> (ie, nothing, and confusion between wmaker and gnustep -- remember last 
> FOSDEM, the number of people that confused windowmaker and gnustep ? I 
> remember asking some people "do you know this project ?" and they told 
> me "oh, yes, it's a window manager, I used to have it as my main wm, 
> are you still working on it ?" ...)

I have always been very happy when they mentioned Window Maker, it sounds
like on of our few strong marketing points.

Imagine if Window Maker wasn't associated in their mind with GNUstep.  
Then you'd tell them "do you know this project (GNUstep) ?" and they would
say "no, I've never heard of it".  You'd have quite a hard time convincing
them that GNUstep is a major project given that they have *never* heard
anything about it or related to it before.  How can it be a major project
if it's never mentioned anywhere and if nobody knows about it and nobody
has never used it and has never produced anything which would ever be
mentioned in slashdot or distributed standard in a linux distro.  Our
brand identity would be totally empty.  We wouldn't exist.

Instead they associate GNUstep with one of the best window managers
around, very popular, installed / available in most linux distro, etc.  
Then you can say, that's our official window manager, and you know it's
very nice and popular and famous, but it's not all of the story, because
GNUstep is also this ... and has also that ... and it's actually bla bla
bla.  Then we're piggibacking on the WindowMaker brand to create a
favourable environment to market the GNUstep brand.  Then we are
associated with an existing brand, and we're taking advantage of it to
support our own brand.

Of course if you want technically WindowMaker has a different code-base,
is not written in ObjC, etc, but that's *not* how marketing works.  
Marketing doesn't care about that.  Marketing is about perception.  
Marketing is about "is GNUstep a known project or not ?".  Marketing is
about "how popular is GNUstep ?".  Marketing is about all the nonsense
such as "if nobody knows about it, it must be irrelevant / bad".

And if you 're trying to convince your target that GNUstep is indeed a
major project (and we want to appear as a major project), you have to
present some evidence.  Something popular, something big and succesful
related to the project / produced by the project.  It's sad, but if you
try to be picky (such as ignoring WindowMaker), we don't have much / any
evidence of that.

So we don't have anything to convince people that we are a fantastically
popular project.  Well we then make it up, or we use something which might
technically not be that relevant but which does irrationally prove the
point that we exist and have some relationship / position in the market of
big things.

The only "evidence" we can quote to support the fact that we are major
players is WindowMaker -- a very popular and polished window manager
installed in most linux distro, the window manager of choice of a lot of

It seems obvious that whenever we are trying to market our project as big
and we get into a corner because we don't really have anything to support
our claims that we're big, we mention WindowMaker as our official window
manager.  Given that Window Maker is the only "marketable" "success story"  
that we have, I don't think we should be trying to kill our relationship
with Window Maker.

Moreover, I feel most people associate WindowMaker with a lot of positive
sensations.  Smooth, nice, well-designed, functional, simple to use,
intuitive.  Precisely the kind of sensations we want to associate with
GNUstep.  So it's not like associating GNUstep with WindowMaker makes it
appear bad, all the contrary.

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