Blue Streak

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

IBM's brand value - Can you explain it?

I also read BusinessWeek because they say good things about my company (hehe)!

IBM is ranked the 3rd most valuable brand in the world by BW. But a certain Kiran Mani (very enthu guy in the company) keeps poiting out that IBM is the highest ranked B2B brand. Coke's and Microsoft's products are used by you and me. IBM's aren't, he says!

I've always wondered how the IBM brand is worth as much as it is. I mean, it's a brand that rarely comes in contact with the average person (now that we've sold off ThinkPad to Lenovo, the chances of 'contact' are even more remote).

If you think of IBM as a manufacturer of hardware products (mainframes, and other servers), then these machines are almost never seen by the person walking into office everyday.

Further, more than half of our revenues are generated by the IBM Global Services, our services arm. Even here, there is no tangible product. Only people's expertise is sold here.

BTW, IBM's also a software company (I'm confused over whether it's the 2nd or 3rd largest here). But again, it's not software products that you and I can work with (except for the Lotus brand). It's software that runs under all the user-facing applications, like the database, for example. Yet again, hidden away from the end-user!

How, how then is the IBM brand worth so much??!!


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