Monday, July 17, 2006

Explaining Technology So Even Your Mom Can Understand It

How do you explain a highly technical product or complex service offering in an easily understandable way? Better yet, how can you explain it so simply that even your mom will understand it (assuming your mother isn't a network system administrator)?

That was the challenge facing Xiotech, a maker of storage area network (SAN) systems. CEO Casey Powell, who joined the company about a year ago, is a big fan of, the site that famously explains in simple terms how almost everything works, from ballpoint pens to rocket engines.

When he challenged his marketing team to develop a similarly simple way to explain Xiotech's offerings, Tom Pearce and the rest of the group came up with...the Mom Button. After all, how better to explain complex technology in terms so simple your mom can understand it than to have a mom explain it?

Since the initial launch of the Mom Button, the original "Mom Explains Xiotech" concept has been expanded to have Mom discuss server consolidation, clustering, and business complexity. In addition to explaining esoteric technology in simple terms, "Mom" puts a human face on the company. Even more impressively, while this is the kind of creative thinking often associated with marketing agencies, the marketing team at Xiotech developed the Mom Button internally.

There are many ways to humanize a company, from Protomold's quirky Professor Plastic, to sending out personalized letters from your CEO, to blogging. But Xiotech's Mom Button certainly ranks as one of the more clever and effective ideas.


Terms: Xiotech, storage area network marketing, Protomold, Professor Plastic, Casey Powell

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