Home > Marketing > Simplifying the Opera Message

Simplifying the Opera Message

November 22, 2005

I mentioned in passing yesterday that Opera was working on a new campaign towards bringing mass-market adoption of its desktop browser. I was able to obtain a bit more details on this new campaign.

The focus of the new campaign will be on simplifying Opera’s message for the mass consumer. Opera will focus more on the value of features than the features themselves. “We’re going to talk in terms that the average consumer can understand.”

You may not care about the yellow security bar, but you do care that Opera will protect you from identity theft. You don’t care about zoom, you want to see the page better. Those will be some of the more apparent tweaks.

I’d be interested to hear some of your ideas and suggestions on how to help promote the Opera browser. In particular how do we get the average browser user to give Opera a try? Please post your comments below.

Categories: Marketing
  1. Anonymous
    November 22, 2005 at 2:25 pm

    I must start out by saying the reason why Firefox has gained so much popularity is that it has an initial shock factor. An average user would say “Wow! Extensions! I can make my browser exactly how I want it! Cool!” Of course Opera is also very customizable, but no one clear message comes out that it is. Opera really needs to come out and talk about something shocking it has no other browser has. It could talk about how everything is already included that the average user needs. People should say “Wow! A web browser with everything I could possibly want in one download! Cool!” This could be plastered everywhere on Opera’s site and every other place possible as well.

  2. November 22, 2005 at 2:38 pm

    Anonymous above,

    I don’t think that the average Firefox user uses extentions. Extentions are more of a sell for advanced users.

  3. November 22, 2005 at 2:50 pm

    One of my favorite features is Opera’s support of keyboard shortcuts, so I don’t have to take my hands off the keyboard and mouse around. Likewise, it’s got all the mouse gestures.

    So maybe something about being flexible enough for however you prefer to work.

    [Zoom is another good one to pitch. So is the quick and easy ability to turn images & styles on & off. Wanna speed up loading of a page? Turn off images? I can see styles being pitched by showing a webpage with flashing yellow text on a red background, and with a single keystroke turning into normal black on white.]

  4. Pat
    November 22, 2005 at 2:51 pm

    i must reply by saying 😉 the reason why firefox has gained so much popularity is that it has NO shock factor. i’m a consultant and have always the choice to install firefox or opera as IE alternatives. i have only one client, an organisiation with a lot of young people, where i installed opera, they knew the browser from their cell phones btw, all other got firefox.

    that’s because 1) they already knew firefox, so an opera campaign is a very helpful thing, 2) all i had to tell them was “the internet icon is now orange” 3) the import of bookmarks, cookies, passworts, history happend automatically when installing.

    1) will hopefully be solved with the campaign, 2) is nearly solved by the much simpler default look og opera but 3) must be worked on.

    4) is something even the average or long time user is waiting for from the beginning of operas life and i really wonder why it didn’t got implemented until now: the organisation of the history in “yesterday, 2 days ago, 1 week ago etc..” – has no one at opera any idea how important this is for the average joe? without this feature i just can’t start to roll out opera in the offices of my clients.

    btw, i use opera sind 3.x, so, no flames please 😉

  5. Anonymous
    November 22, 2005 at 3:20 pm

    IMHO Opera must highlight its security record. The fact that it has been so much securer than ff (on secunia)
    Another thing the noobest of my friends know about ff. For some reason they find it ‘cool’ or ‘the-in-thing’.
    Maybe Opera should hire some hot models to create a hype 😉

  6. November 22, 2005 at 3:36 pm

    I agree – the average user does NOT customize Firefox.

    It’s very difficult to categorize how Firefox “captured the imagination”, but it certainly has among the web savvy crowd. It hasn’t done that for the masses after all, just for those who use the internet frequently. It spread by a word-of-mouth thing mostly…

    Key things that I like about Opera:

    – at this point it is more secure (one may argue that is because it is not yet targeted by hackers for exploits, but let’s not go there). Value: it’s safer.
    – seems to be stable in terms of memory consumption (Firefox is not always so) and fast. Value: it loads quicker, it displays pages faster.
    – provides a lot of features for a small footprint (chat client, email client, news/RSS reader, web browser). Value: user can work in one application for a “seamless experience” (though this isn’t entirely true now is it? why can’t I organize my feeds in folders like my bookmarks? grrr….)
    – what about support of the latest web specifications and “leading the way” in certain areas (SVG, VoiceXML)? Value: it enables a “cooler, more organic web experience” (to marketize and fluff it up a little).

    Opera is getting better at what I’ll call “newbie customization” with its opera:config, but having people edit config files for more advanced items (like adding menu items) is not something to brag about.

  7. November 22, 2005 at 4:08 pm

    Here is an article written today by the Motley Fool on Firefox’s success.

  8. Anonymous
    November 22, 2005 at 4:16 pm

    “IMHO Opera must highlight its security record. The fact that it has been so much securer than ff (on secunia)”
    I agree. Security is the most techy term an average user will care about.

    “Another thing the noobest of my friends know about ff. For some reason they find it ‘cool’ or ‘the-in-thing’.”
    I think Opera will win in the long run. Just the name ‘Firefox’ sounds like a hype product to me.


  9. November 22, 2005 at 4:56 pm

    Small animated flash tour on highlight features will help Opera a lot. Sometimes people just scare to install anything new. But with tour they actually can see what they get.
    My suggestion fo highlights are:
    – Secure browsing
    – Speed
    – Accessibility (zoom, spatial navigation, etc.)
    – Very customizable interface
    – Easy and quick installation
    – Many languages
    Especially I would highlight zoom feature, that zoom not only text, but also pictures and even whole site design.
    I can easily associate Opera with Swiss Army knife. 😉 Same kind of product, but in browsers world.

  10. Anonymous
    November 22, 2005 at 5:31 pm

    Although it would be extremely frowned upon and condemned by lots of bloggers out there, the only way for Opera to perform a really successful marketing campaign is to start trashing Firefox. I’m against such a thing, though…

    Imagine a series of adverts:

    “Firefox has had X security problems in the last year. Internet Explorer has had X-n. Opera? Only X-w. (data from Secunia) Who should you trust?”

    “Which was the first real browser to have tabs? Opera, in 200x.”

    “Opera: X megabytes download, including A, B, C and D. Firefox: X+n megabytes download, not including anything.”

    “We can make Opera look like this: (a series of four drastically different screenshots). You can make Firefox look like this: (a series of four identical bland screenshots)”


    It would invoke the wrath of MoCorp, but hey, it’s not like it’s intrue 🙂

    The thing is, I don’t think a marketing campaign that’s not sharp and radical would be that useful…

  11. Anonymous
    November 22, 2005 at 5:44 pm

    Oh, and one more thing:

    Opera *REALLY* has to get regular help files back offline. I don’t understand why they were moved online – what if I’ve changed some settings that disallow Opera to connect to websites, and I can’t consult Help because, well, Opera can’t connect to websites? What about dial-up users?

    Opera documentation guys, if you’re reading this, get your act together and start behaving in a responsible manner: bring back the help files. You just can’t ship a serious product without any help files available!

  12. Anonymous
    November 22, 2005 at 5:44 pm

    it could be like a car spot. “Suppose you win a car and can choose:

    – The IE car. It will bring you from A to B. Action included: no more car has more accidents!

    – The FF car: It will bring you from A to B. As an option, you can have power steering, power windows and an airbag for free! Be careful though, the airbag may not work if you also install an air conditioning.

    – The Opera car. Secure, all features included. And it fits into your garage. Promised.


  13. November 22, 2005 at 6:00 pm

    “The Opera car. Secure, all features included. And it fits into your garage. Promised.
    Good thinking!

  14. Anonymous
    November 22, 2005 at 6:21 pm

    I think they have to stress that Opera is versatile and “light”. People who don’t know about security think they’re safe or that the risk is low, so they won’t bother downloading a new browser just for that. Opera has to be that fast, simple and smoothly running program that has everything related to the net: browsing, e-mail, chatting, RSS, …

  15. Anonymous
    November 22, 2005 at 7:06 pm

    There are three kind of people – the stupid(plenty – 90%), the pseudo intelligent(quite a bit – 9.5%) and the truly intelligent(few – 0.5%). Unless they all become intelligent Opera will remain the browser of choice of the 0.5% truly intelligent.

    Jokes apart almost everyone I introduced Opera to, loved it. I have converted a lot of people from IE to Opera. I have only met one *die hard* FF fan and could not convert him even though I proved Opera is better in every way.

    This proves that Opera lacks nothing that wont make it popular. Except for one thing – support of the geeks. The people who switched to FF did so because they could find out that there was a *FREE* alternative to IE – thanks to the massive free publicity pulled of by the bloggers. By the time Opera went free, FF had captured the market of people who were not resistant to change, those who are resistant to change stay with IE.

    Now it is too late to even go open source (if there was any reason to do it). It might like that there is no way that Opera can compete with the publicity FF can generate. It is true they can not compete by way of direct publicity but they can compete by introducing some cool new feature that will get them free publicity – on slashdot or through news sites for example. Flock for example got some publicity by adding some small little things to FF that can probably be added to Opera by way of javascript buttons.

  16. Anonymous
    November 22, 2005 at 7:14 pm

    Well actually, even before flock came out I was using myweb2.0 button from yahoo.com to manage my bookmarks online. At the same time I was thinking that if Opera introduced a killer web-only feature that works with Opera alone, people will come in droves to use Opera. Now Opera is giving away a web log and they are giving space to upload your pictures – if they combined those features into Opera browser, they will definitely generate some publicity. Or maybe they could contact Yahoo and Opera users could get an account at yahoo 360 and access to myweb2.0 social bookmarking and flickr – all yahoo products and get and extra dollar per download from Yahoo!

  17. Anonymous
    November 22, 2005 at 7:33 pm

    I forgot to add in my previous post that the problem with flock’s approach is it requires three separate logins for – bookmarks, blogging, photos. If Opera implemented these things on there website (better since it will be integrated nicely) or through Yahoo (good if yahoo is ready to pay),it could do away with the multiple login thing.

  18. Rover
    November 23, 2005 at 3:06 am

    Well Opera needs to change 2/3 things:

    1. full html support in e-mail
    2. make it more easy to customize menu’s, flip forward, fast forward etc.
    (3. improved bittorent)

    When this has been done Opera can presents itself as All-in-1 internet package

    in point 2.: i have customized my flip forward and fast forward perfectly for Google/Ebay etc. This has increased my browsing speed

    what i did is this:

    i changed to flip forwad into Fast forward | Forward, so i dont have to use SHIFT after returning to the search results

    Opera should make a demo of how the browser in search-engines/ebay etc. works using flip forward! (with or without using shift) and how to customize the fast forward (i customized mine so it works for the japanese yahoo auction site.

    Everyone uses Search Engines and/or Ebay, so focus on the fast forward!

    also people should be aware that they DONT have to use opera e-mail client when using opera, most people still use outlook, so this should be the standard client or people must be able to select their e-mail programm at the 1st install! (this was on thing i have found anoying, it took me some time to figure it out…)

    well these tips should help a lot!

  19. Anonymous
    November 23, 2005 at 3:55 am

    Hello, all!
    Greetings from Bulgaria!
    I am average user and I am new for Opera. When I first instaled it I got a shock: Wow! This is great! I can’t believe: a small 3.6 MB download where included so many things…!!! And all run like a dream!
    Now I just want to say: Opera is the best browser of the World and you must explain this to the people! I managed to persuade and converted all my friends from IE and FF to Opera! Now they love Opera!
    Thank you so much for this great browser, guys!
    Fire Ahead with Opera!
    p.s. Sorry for my bad english!
    Have a nice day!

  20. sebastian
    November 23, 2005 at 11:19 am


    I personally don’t think Firefox got users because it had any “unique” features no browser else had. I think Firefox got its users because it promised the most important things to the “normal PC user”: Security and that nothing changes if one switches from IE to Firefox. So the normal user who worked well with IE just because he didn’t need anything better now could work with the “IE in secure” — the nearly same program (ok, it is not, but for a “noob”, it is) but freed from all the holes the IE had.

    So Opera has to say – as somebody already mentioned above – that it is even more secure than Firefox – in total security holes as well as in fixed security holes. And it has to provide an IE-like layout for the normal users and a classic layout for the more experienced users.

  21. Anonymous
    November 24, 2005 at 10:03 am

    How to promotive the Opera browser?
    Simple, team-up with other companies and exchange interests between them.

  22. November 25, 2005 at 3:25 pm

    Firefox goes video way.

  23. Anonymous
    November 26, 2005 at 12:27 am

    For Opera to gain any market traction it must render all major sites properly–yes, including Yahoo Mail.

    Opera must also create a universal API so that programs such as RoboForm stand some chance of interfacing with it. (Wand just doesn’t cut it.)

    Lack of RoboForm support is the biggest reason I don’t use it–I can’t, despite the fact that I want to.

  24. November 28, 2005 at 4:01 am

    “Opera will focus more on the value of features than the features themselves.”

    This is standard marketing. Do you want an open-top BMW vs do you want to look cool and have chicks begging you for a ride?

    Other standard marketing questions:
    Who will Opera’s new users be?
    What is Opera’s indisputable most desirable feature to these people?
    How can this feature be most efficiently communicated to them?

    Not much point doing any marketing until you can answer these questions.

  25. December 2, 2005 at 10:05 pm

    Improve quirks mode rendering (have poorly coded pages actually work).

    Market the hell out of what I think is a very sexy look and feel.

    Develop an extension or addon-like system. *Dont make it simply more customizable, that’s not enough*

    Actually work on M2 😉

    Integrate Opera web services (blogs, mail, forum etc.) into the browser.

    Continue to be faster than all else at surfing the net!

  26. Frank
    December 12, 2005 at 1:01 pm

    I’ve been reading almost all of your posts. Cool man, I agree almost with all, except for attacking competition, perhaps we can do otherwise too, enhance the competition, then say, We were the first, and we have even more for you!. About what features, I think that the Internet suite, pronoted is some version in the 7.x series were something cool, you downloaded everything but you select what to use, that make Opera a friendly image, is a pal that tells you everythin gbut still let you decide. And I think that selling Opera, not as a web browser, but an Internet site will help companies, people and common user to get into Opera world, not only classics, but the better.

    Well i’v been using it in my Linux and Windows installation since 6.x and I think that the first versions uncompatibiliti issues damaged the Opera reputation, It’s still hard to use in corportive environments ue to Microsoft wide apreadedtechnologies that are not yey supported by FF or Opera. So I think tat focusiong on that may help on realeasin an Opera9 foreverybody. fully compatible, fast like hell, safer, cool. don’t be bored withsme windows, use Opera. things like that. i love it, yopu already catched me

  27. Frank
    December 12, 2005 at 1:05 pm

    I forgot, some companies, or people who has very old PCs are more than thakful for Operas firendly treat of their PCs resources. Say it loud, tired of getting slowed odwn with your browser, fastest browser on earth, and beyond…jeje

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