Marketing Thoughts on Java vs. Sunw
By draks on Aug 27, 2007
Ok so now Sunw is Java what does this really mean or do? In my mind (and I am not an official spokesperson for Sun) I think it is a way for Sun to capitalize on our consumer touch point and connect with those folks who are already our customers and those who we want to be our customers. All tech companies want and need a consumer touch point because they have all the money! We all remember the "Intel Inside" campaign which made microprocessors cool by depicting guys dancing in clean room suits - even I have one of their dolls (I used to have to work in those things and, trust me, you no be wantin' to dance in them!). Since then we've seen Adobe and .pdf (although I don't think anyone makes that association well) and many other examples. For each of these very expensive marketing campaigns, the companies have benefited from increased consumer awareness, better brand recognition and ultimately more sales. Why? I won't go into details, but basically people buy what they are familiar with and these branding campaigns are designed to make people (remember engineers and purchasing agents are people too!) familiar, comfortable, aware of products and technologies.
For Sun, our consumer touch point is Java - Java ME specifically, Java on phones but it is our technology and corporate felt (IMHO) a need to remind consumers (and the stock analysts) that Java = Sun. Now there are 2 ways to do this. One way is the Intel way and spend upwards of $100 million on branding, dancing bunnies/cleanroom suits etc and Sun just doesn't have the money to do that (remember we've just made it out of the "nonprofit"category of companies). The much less expensive way is to change the ticker symbol - this costs much less than $100 million and is a creative way to remind people that Sun does make things that are familiar and relevant to them and their lives. The more people associate Sun with Java and Java with things they do everyday (mobile phones, settop boxes, BMWs) the more likely they are to "buy" things that are Java branded which means more revenue to Sun. So I am positive to neutral on this move, but do think it is not a bad idea. Let's hope that other companies like BEA don't follow our lead as the Fake Steve Jobs suggests here.