When AT&T acquired NCR, they called that division AT&T GIS, somehow thinking that Global Information Systems and NCR’s massive worldwide penetration would rub off on their whole company. Apparently no one told them that in the computer industry GIS was the common abbreviation for Geographical Information Systems. And they never did find a way to hook a phone to every cash register they then had in most corners of the world.
By the time they figured out they really were only a phone company at heart, and had already acquired other companies like Interbase, at least they did they right thing and so restarted a great old computer company and gave them back the time tested moniker of NCR.
Now H-P is in the same predicament. At heart not a phone company at all, but also not a PC consumer company per se. So as they let the consumer divisions go the right way, I am predicting they will finally see that all their great brand names do not/did not come from Cupertino corner offices. So hopefully Compaq will be reborn again, even though it was so strong a brand it never really went away.
Interesting isn’t it that their old chairman Ray Lane once even campaigned for the name HP PC? Like most division execs in Cupertino, they have a strange penchant for only endorsing common English words for products and services, despite the best intentions of their own marketing people and branding consultants. Didn’t he get that hppc is like http? Yet another networking protocol, and only a homage to the old past. After all, PC is now even an aged term itself and not in the least suitable for new mobile devices, not to mention printers. H-P’s other great brand names LaserJet (originally from Colorado) and OfficeJet (from Oregon) will presumably go to the new group too.
So why not the great Compaq name from Houston (originally made up by a San Francisco naming agency when the start up changed its name from Bridge Gate Computers)? So unique and memorable – with the sticky C consonant to start and the magic sticky/soft Q consonant to end. I would even recommend restoring the original logo, before H-P opened up the Q to look like a wrench, thereby saving a bunch of money on branding agencies.
The historic and famous H-P way has clearly not been a way to run a consumer computer company. So now it is time to drop the baggage of H-P, restore the luster that those marketing folks in Texas created, and get on with the new business of Compaq. See them today already at www.compaq.com!
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