Cloud’s Illusions, Brand Recall? HP Eyes Cloud Innovation

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You can watch the video above to get HP’s take on cloud computing; or you can watch an older (mildly NSFW) video which features cloud audio. Either way, get your head in the cloud, because “cloud branding” is the latest hot area for brand marketers to play with.

Simply put, it’s a cloud-leveraging bid by tech companies to create and own the consumer computing experience, thereby building loyalty by being woven through all aspects of the consumer’s digital life. It’s also why HP is now marketing “ecosystems” instead of simply selling PCs, printers and other gear.[more]

In a Brandweek interview, Richard Gerstein, SVP worldwide strategy and marketing for Hewlett-Packard’s Personal Systems Group, says HP’s mission in 2011 is: “Changing the way consumers think, feel and connect.”

“I want people saying ‘I’ve gotta have an HP’ as opposed to ‘I chose an HP and it was fine.’ I want people desiring an HP because the reality is that technology has become a fashion statement, a badge,” he adds.

HP is already leveraging the cloud when it comes to rebranding Palm, as will happen next year, and developing a web OS-based Slate device.

Its competitors in the cloud branding space include tech heavyweights: Google, Yahoo, Salesforce, Amazon, 37 signals, Microsoft, WordPress , Wikipedia,  Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

As for the unique challenges of marketing computers in a landscape where business and consumer PC’s are joined at the hip, Gerstein notes: “My best analogy is there were minivans there were cars. So you were either a family or you weren’t a family, but then you take a look at these crossovers and it’s like “Just because I have a family, doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a night out.”

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