Crafty Marketing

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Hitachi, parent of HDS (who I love – though they have their own marketing challenges from time to time), just announced an “enterprise” caliber 500GB SATA disk drive.

Not content to simply attack the lower-end markets, they tacked on a 1 million hour MTBF (which means not only will the drive never break, it will be spinning post-Apocalypse) and a 5 year warranty.

Sounds great right? It sure does. Now, did the company use its marketing muscle to come up with a crafty high-end “enterprise” caliber name for the line? Something like DS500 (death star) or Infinity500 or DC500 (data center)??? Nope. It uses Deskstar. Yep. Deskstar. Why not Lunch box 500? or CameInTheCerealBox 500? I can see the ad campaign now, “Mr. VP of IT, if you have a desk, now you are a star”. Ugh.

How many desks have critical enterprise data on them? Maybe the age of consolidation has gone so far as to shrink data centers down into furniture looking things. HP used to make an MPE machine that looked like a desk. I sat on it in the Boston, MA Putnam Investments data center once, having no idea it was not furniture. That might have been OK, except I was the EMC sales rep/installer that was going to plug a new memory board into that desk, which probably did not instill a very high degree of confidence in the customer. I’m pretty sure I left the board there for one of the guys techies and took him to a bar to wait it out.

I digress. My point is that if you wanna make people feel comfortable about applying your product or technology into their worlds, you should first try to understand what those requirements mean, and second, you might want to consider a naming convention that connotes confidence. Who would buy an Ab Blaster if it were called a “You’ll never use it anyway, and end up putting it in the basement with clothes hanging from it that don’t fit you anyway, you fat slob”?


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Steve Duplessie is the author of the “Steve’s IT Rants” blog, and the founder and Sr. Analyst of the Enterprise Strategy Group.

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