No one denies the power of brands. We silly humans are just happier buying from “the better brand.” That’s why companies like Archos struggle to get noticed in the shadow of stronger brands like HP. And a brand like Apple can more easily venture into new markets with such fanfare.
Some companies have sub-brands that are as just as powerful as the master brand. For example, iPod is as big a deal for customers as Apple. While Vostro is but a distant echo of Dell.
There are endless ways to build a brand or sub-brand. One old favorite is to stick the word right in your customer’s face. Put it on the product where people have to stare at it every day. Interesting to note, though, that some of the stronger sub-brands don’t even bother.
iMac is a good example. For all of Apple’s design elegance, this baby had long touted the super-sized “iMac” on its backside, big enough to be seen from a block away. Now it’s gone altogether. All we get is an Apple logo under the front bezel. Still fairly jumbo, but no iMac word. Yet no one overlooks the fact that Apple sells iMacs.
In fact, you don’t see a product name on any of Apple’s desktop computers, from Mac mini to Mac Pro. Just a logo. Is that because Apple is actively shifting us to think of Apple first, and the sub-brand second? Or simply because the sub-brand has become so powerful, it doesn’t need to be so flagrant anymore? Once you figure that out, you can start wondering why MacBook, iPod and iPhone are clearly labeled by both product name and Apple logo.
Obviously, the way you adorn your products reflects an overall strategy. It says something about how you wish your customers to think of you — but it also demonstrates how you think of your customers. If you respect them enough, you’ll treat them to a little simplicity.