March 27, 2006
In Search of a Brand Name
What's missing from a country that produces "...three quarters of the world's notebook computers, two-thirds of its personal digital assistants and nearly 70 percent of its liquid crystal display monitors..."?
According to the Taiwanese government, its recognizable brand names. Taiwan feels China "breathing down their neck" as that country continues to manufacture more and more high-tech products.
Probably the best-known technology brands coming out of Taiwan are Acer, BenQ (which is the successor company name to Acer), and AsusTeK Computer. I probably don't have to state that these aren't household names yet. Nor are they particularly user-friendly to the Western world.
Acer is probably the best known as the world's fourth largest laptop maker and has a good presence in big box retailers such as Best Buy, CompUSA, and Circuit City.
The BenQ name is derived from the company vison of Bringing Enjoyment and Quality to life. I think this is a decent tagline or slogan, but a rather meaningless brand name.
I'm not sure what to think about the Asustek brand name, commonly referred to as ASUS. The company indicates that ASUS is from Pegasus, the winged horse of mythology and TeK is the phonetic spelling of tech, for technology.
I don't think it's the easiest brand name to pronounce, however, China's Lenovo sounded strange to me at first but the multi-million dollar media effort is quickly making the name as common as ThinkPad.
In the brand name arena, I think the Taiwanese should aspire to be as good at brand naming as they are at manufacturing high tech products.
For more news on this subject, read this morning's Seattle Times article, Taiwan Towers As An Innovator.
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