The marks of trade

Even as we look into an abyss of unsettling economic prospects, we notice that many of the gadgets providing entities are still playing the high game for now. The fact of the matter is that even though many places are in recession, some places seem to be getting through and only a few are on the path of former comfort, all of the people are looking at some light point in their life, whether it is for them personally, or for the entire family. However, in the US there are the upcoming Thanksgiving Day and Christmas. A large portion of the world relies on Christmas day with a few places having an added feast of Saint Nicholas. Basically three moments the retail industry relies on these days to stop them from turning into Lemmings and run of the nearest cliff (could be an excellent game).

The following players (some of them) are:

  • Sony is going for the Playstation 4
  • Microsoft is going for the Xbox One
  • Nokia (a Microsoft company) is aiming at the Lumia 1020
  • Apple has a league of ‘new’ options, with all kinds of letters (and/or numbers).

So if these places have trademarks, then are they about protecting their recognisable design or expression. Yet, is that true, or is that what they proclaim they do?

What if their recognisable design becomes:

  • Playstation 4 – An average renewed system where they forgot about harddrive space?
  • XBox One – The place where your privacy truly went lost forever
  • Lumia 1020 – Another model, now with 41Mp camera, but where to store all those pics?
  • iPhone – more of the same and additional ways to run out of battery power before lunch.

So whist the brand (Apple, Microsoft, Nokia, Sony) have the one story, their products are getting different labels, and it is likely that the junior marketeers as stated ‘Junior’ seem to be not on par with HQ as it goes for the mission of the brand, and drop the ball all over as it comes to the product. When I see the trade shows, as I saw the stories and the way they try to hype the concept, I do wonder whether some of these ‘soldiers’ are on proper par with the concepts of trademark and long term damage that they seem to invoke.

So let us go over these ‘Trademarks’ in that order.

Playstation 4 – This is the one system I have decent levels of faith in. It’s initially weaknesses has been dealt with. The too small hard drive can now be upgraded. Mind you the 500 Gb should last a while, however, as 500Gb to 1 Tb is a mere $25 extra, so I wonder why 500Gb was chosen. If you spend an additional $100, you can upgrade immediately to 2Tb. I agree it is overkill, however upgrading once at start could prevent a 1-2 day loss down the line. I did it with my PS3 and never regretted it. ‘Sony, where storage was left at Kennard’s!’

XBox One – There have been loads of messages about online all the time, or even once a day. This has now been ‘removed’ as an issue as Microsoft no longer requires it. You see, it is so much better to get these people connected with a carrot then with a shotgun, so now the console comes with a free digital copy of FIFA 14. Which still needs to be downloaded! Whether this is only once, or the start to get people online in a sneakier way is yours to debate or conclude. Gamers for the most (the multi-player group) need to be online; the rest could be if the game is good. Many of the issues are about digital privacy fears. Some are realistic, some are speculated rumours, but a large portion is just absurd conspiracy theory. There was a rumour that deliveries were down, but this was denied by two sources. So in case you heard the 1 million less consoles on launch day, be sure to check your sources. I personally believe that the invasion of privacy was the biggest blast this trademark took. The additional issue of online once a day did not help, especially knowing how irritating broadband has been in plenty of places outside of the US. It would be nice to just dump this on Don Mattrick, yet I feel that this was not just his call and those above him should start taking a long hard look at the population of gamers. Calling this an ‘entertainment system’ instead of a ‘gaming console’ might seem nice and claiming that it will make you win the war is also nice, but the reality is that this multi-billion dollar market is all about gamers, not knowing that population will turn out to be ultimately fatal to the Microsoft XB-1 brand, no matter what else it can do.

Lumia 1020 – This is a new contraption. It has two sides. One, it is really fun to use (I tried it) and the camera abilities blew me away. Yet, the other side is that it is linked to Microsoft and they will have a few issues to deal with down the line (not just that weird OS). The device itself is no longer a Nokia device, or not in the traditional sense. Nokia was always the number one brand for me and it lost appeal as it was too slow moving into the smart phone world. They are coming back strong, but a 2 Gb ram when you have a 41Mp camera? Seems a little short sighted. So, they added a free 7 Gb SkyDrive option. Oh, wait? Is that not the place from Microsoft who gave their access to the NSA? So what about your privacy, not to mention the data usage price?

As you see, we are getting more and more towards the new Microsoft Trademark ‘Microsoft, because privacy is just an illusion!’ Is that fair? Not sure! You see, in the end I do not care whether the NSA gets access to my data. My worry is that overall, cyber criminals have more resources and abilities then we see at federal places. You know those small, massively underfunded places where they try to stop cybercrime (read FBI). The fact that the NSA gets access means that there is external access, which means that criminals get to have a go too. To that part I do object.

iPhone – the device that truly revolutionised smartphone and mobile usage is now going towards mobile phones in the same way Russia showed diversity for the S-300 (22 letters added over 30 years). Apple seems to forget to truly move their battery forward and in other fields of smartphones the iPhone is no longer regarded as the heralded winner. The device wants to be too much of everything and ends up coming up short in many of the fields they are in. So will the new Apple Trademark read ‘Apple – Master of none, drowning in some?’

There are plenty more devices out and about for the expensive festive season, yet it seems to me that some of the players entered that field by using spokespeople with a golf handicap equalling their IQ, or is that the other way round? When the digital world is entering the field where more and more possible ‘new’ consumers are updated through the net, it seems that their marketing and party lines need to get a massive overhaul and it should all get a much better mentor system then it currently seems to have.

Trademarks!

They might be seen as great assets, yet when those trademarks get assigned by the audience (example: Vodafail, because Vodafone just doesn’t connect) and it gives your brand itself a twist moving its customers towards to competition, you know you have problems coming (and many of these from your own board of directors).

 

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