Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Lesson On How To Kill Your Brand

Is Your Company Doing What It's Known For?

Not too long ago HP was branded as a technical innovation leader - not by itself, but by its customers.  Its tailored products were expertly aimed at a well-defined target market [not all things to all users]. Prior to 1990 I always marveled at the strong affinity that  customers had with the HP brand.  I learned this from my experience competing directly with HP while working for Texas Instruments and Tektronix.  HP customers were passionate about HP and willing to engage in verbal battles defending HP.  I remember how HP's RPN scientific calculator language created vociferous arguments between HP customers and TI's customers who preferred TI's AOS calculator language.  HP's engineering workstation was the market leader.  HP minicomputers owned the manufacturing automation marketplace. HP OpenView was the leader in IT systems management.

HP always competed on value, never on price.  It's prices were always higher, but perceived value was too. The new HP tries to blend the old HP with its acquisitions - Digital Equipment, Compaq, and others.  Now HP competes on price and tries to sell to everyone.  I don't think HP has that passionate brand appeal of days prior to the 90's.

I'm disappointed to be greeted with a commodityish home page when I visit  I'm sure Mr. Hewlett and Mr. Packard would feel the same way I feel.

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