What we have is The Brand

The Brand

You may be familiar with open source, the idea that (typically) software is available to you for free, and you can have the source code, and you can change it, and you can charge people to do things like, create customized solutions with it.

There’s also “open source hardware” which is similar, but instead of just supplying computer code, there are often design files for creating physical things, like circuit boards and enclosures. (See the WIRED article Build It. Share It. Profit. Can Open Source Hardware Work?)

One of the success stories of the open hardware movement is the Arduino project, which created a small microcontroller used by hobbyists, schools, and artists to create interactive electronic projects.

But since the Arduino is open source, anyone can make their own, and lots of people do. Even manufacturers in China make them, and they make them cheaper. So is the idea behind open source hardware crazy? No. And do you know why? Because the smart people know that it’s all about the brand.

In a market where you can’t compete on price, you need to look at others areas. Besides quality in what you produce, things such as building a strong community, and providing great documentation and support/customer service, are important. It also helps if you’ve got people in your organization who are willing to step into the spotlight, and speak with authority in the field. These are all components of your brand.

We’ve said it before (and we’ll probably say it again) but the product or service your company produces is not the only thing that matters. Yes, at the end of the day, it has to be good, but you need to remember that the brand matters, and the brand is an all-encompassing part of your success.

September 19, 2011 · Posted by in misc  


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