Image Is Everything (Almost) for Tech Companies

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Technology companies are known to the general public for their idiosyncratic, distinctive advertising efforts about as much as they are for the products and services they offer—perhaps even more so, in fact. This is no accident, either: It’s what’s known in the marketing world as “branding,” or presenting an easily identifiable image to the public. If done well, this concept can impact a company’s success in the marketplace as much as sales, finance or research and development.

 

Take the recent help desk spots for IBM, for example. These typically include prosaic (if not bleak) environments, in which an unlikely support professional seated at a desk is physically present to help out whoever has a problem: police officer, truck driver, sheep farmer, you name it. These ads do more than tell us about IBM’s services—which are really only a bit player in these short stories—they let us know the Big Blue can be humorously ironic and hip when it wants to be.

 

One interesting illustration of branding in the IT industry is a satirical video clip making the rounds on the Web right now. Developed by Microsoft employees, it shows what the iPod ads would have looked like if they’d come out of Redmond instead of Cupertino. Check it out here.

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