when brands collide
Posted by Barry Silverstein on September 14, 2009 10:54 AM
No sooner did Oracle announce its acquisition of Sun than the brand's rivals began sounding the alarm. According to Information Week, Sun competitor IBM is pitching “Sun-set specials” and running ads bashing Oracle. HP, another Sun competitor, is piling on with its own ads attempting to win over Sun customers.
Oracle wasted little time countering with an ad that assures Sun customers the new owners intend to aggressively invest in Sun hardware and software: "We're in it to win it. IBM, we're looking forward to competing with you in the hardware business."
A newly acquired brand makes a tempting target for competitors: Often, customers pay a price in reduced support and the brand loses luster. Sometimes, it even loses its identity: Witness the demise of not one, but two world-class brands when Digital Equipment Corporation (remember them?) was acquired by Compaq (remember them?), only to be gobbled up by HP. You’d be hard pressed to find mention of either Digital or Compaq in today’s HP. IBM has been somewhat more sensitive in acquiring software companies like Lotus, Rational, and Tivoli, retaining their names as sub-brands.
Will Sun shine under Oracle – or will the former Unix market leader see its brand name eclipsed?