Does anybody really care if Data Center kit looks cool and sexy? Do things like blue neon lights make a difference to sales?
While eating out recently with a group of top industry techies* in Tokyo Japan, we had a short light-hearted discussed of the above. There was a definite difference of opinion; some of the people involved felt it made absolutely no difference at all, whereas others (including me)
think it may make a difference, albeit my be small…. May be we are all wrong and it makes a big diference!?
* Top industry techies included: Greg Knieriemen, Chris Evans, Michael Hay, Devang Panchigar, Robin Harris and the Rickatron himslef Mr. Rick Vanoever. The Ghelfster was also there, and although she is top notch, strictly speaking Carli is not a techie.
While I do think it makes a difference, I’m not suggesting it makes a huge difference – its certainly nowhere near as important as it is with consumer goods – but I’m open to being wrong. After all, I’m a techie and not in marketing.
Let me just throw together a quick list of some of the reasons I think it makes a difference –
- It’s a conversation point for techies. Having folks talk about your company and your kit is almost always a good thing.
- It helps in marketing. And we all know that effective marketing is often more important than technical merit or technical superiority.
- Things that are aesthetically pleasing on the eye leave us with positive thoughts and feelings about the object. And that doesn’t just apply to good-looking girls!
While on the topic, I’m also one of those that thinks getting your product on poplar TV shows and films is a good idea. An example that immediately comes to mind is the frequent and positive appearances of Cisco and Apple kit on the popular TV show 24. In one episode, Chloe O’brien (renowned for being able to hack though any IT security system) makes a statement along the lines of “they have the new Cisco proprietary firewall system, its impossible to hack”. Corny, I know, but its sewing information and impressions to people.
And then there’s the recent appearance of an EMC VMAX on the same show. While some point out that one of the VMAX arrays had smoke coming out of it, the important thing was that it powered back up and still worked 😉
WARNING: Don’t test burning your own VMAX in your own Data Center. The above was performed by professionals with all required safety equipment at hand 😉
And let’s face it, Apple, Cisco and EMC know how to market a product!
If names are important then surely…..
Also, there is no doubt that companies (including vendors of Data Center hardware) think product names are important. So if something as seemingly unimportant as a product name (when compared to security or data availability etc) is important, then surely physical product aesthetics are also important? Both are part of product image and branding.
TIP: Go hire an ex-Apple dude to design the front doors and front bezels to your Data Center kit. It won’t break the bank or introduce bugs to your code, but it might have a positive impact on branding and and may be even sales.
Just my thoughts. Please take a minute to register your opiion in the poll below –
Feel free to chime in with your own opinions, as well as images of the good the bad and the ugly of Data Center products. Here’s quick image that I’ll leave you to make your own mind up on –