In technology there are certainly recognizable brands who have been in the market place for decades, such as IBM, HP, Dell, and Cisco Over time these brands have introduced products to the market place based on their customer’s business requirements for now commodity items like servers, printers, and routers. Many of these products are considered commodity items as they are so similar to other vendor providers. As these companies have grown and compacted they have morphed into more applications that are consumer driven rather than hardware focused. This is not to say that hardware is unimportant, but rather it is like air, in that we all use it.
These companies have global brand recognition and, for the most part, have the trust of their customers with a new drive to not only satisfy their Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 customers but to focus on innovation to meet the needs of today’s savvy consumers. The direction is to remain in the market place with a keen eye on the cloud. There is no shortage of choices for various application and service providers in the cloud.
Agile, resilient, and relevant are terms which come to mind when you look at the evolution of these brands. They have respectively developed, acquired, and found a place to provide value in the cloud world of data and digital information today. Because the cloud space is the rapidly growing technology market there are many more vendor entrants. The ones included here are well established and have a high level of brand recognition. From a business and consumer perspective they have established trust with their customers.
As businesses consider the cloud options available they are focused on issues of reliability, security, and new applications. Like any new technology the offering there have been growing pains with cloud, primarily around the security and reliability aspects. As technology innovations evolve these concerns have been steadily reduced. Brand recognition is still a key element of the decision process.
Individual consumers have a totally different perspective when it comes to the cloud. It is not the brand that provides the service but rather the device that offers the features and functions they want. The drivers of the consumer are for the ease and convenience of the applications. The businesses they deal with must have relevant applications with the goal of streamlining their user interactions to optimize new capabilities, but devices are the tool of choice.
Developers work in the operating system of these devices (Linux open source versus IOS) to develop the applications used by consumers. Some are freeware, others are not. Whether there is security or reliability is not as much in the forefront as the applications in use. These two brands are almost as divided as Linux and Windows.
Buying based on brand is totally the consumers choice using the definition of consumer as either a business entity or an individual. At the end of the day it does matter. Rivals in different markets may have similar features like hotels, universities, hardware stores, and so forth.
Thanks to the Internet, social media, and technology there are new brands on the rise that are getting attention, mind share and wallet share. Some of these are marketplace disrupters, while others are new ideas created by a consumer need. Innovation is the clear rule of thumb in most cases. Brands like Lyft, airbnb, and Blue Apron seem to gain ground faster than some of the older brands. Their brand trust element seems to be for the number of likes they’ve acquired as well as their value in the marketplace. Whether they will sustain the praise of consumers over the long haul is going have to wait for the trial of time. Today, these brands are easily recognizable because of the buzz they receive on our global plethora of devices and often adopted by younger adults first. This may be due to the driving need for youth to be more innovative or their perception on service or products needed. In any case, these brands are only a sampling of the newer brands that are valued at billions. Quite an achievement for young businesses.
Consider this concept; brands are also criterion for investment. Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway includes a company’s brand strength in his investment decision making process. All you have to do is look through the company’s inventory of stock picks for holding and you will realize just how important branding can be. His buy and hold strategy depends upon solid branding by the target company.
Brands that do not perform are either consumed by others or fall into obsolescence. No one wants to be in the latter groups. But the brands that continually deliver quality, service, and relevant innovation will be here in another hundred years. Which ones will continue? What is your favorite brand, and why?