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Friday, August 04, 2006

Business week - Top 100 brands for year 2006

Business week has recently compiled the list of top 100 brands for year 2006 and Cisco has made it in to the top 20 league. We are in 18th position in the overall listing and we stand 5th among the IT companies behind Microsoft, IBM, Intel and HP.

18th position huh!! Though its pretty good position, But I believe we can be in top 15 or may be top 10. Also when we talk of 18th, 15th or 10th position, we are talking of two things... Familiarity and Favorability. Familiarity is how well people know about your brand and Favorability reflects how willing people are to come back for the same brand once they have known of it.

Now the obvious question to ask would be why is Cisco in 18th place and not among top 15 or top 10 brands? One reason I can think of is because we score poorly on the Familiarity front i.e. people do not "know" Cisco that well, ask them what Cisco does and you will find almost all of them tagging us as a Computer networking a.k.a. "plumbing" company. What they have failed to see or what we have failed to project is that along with plumbing we are into Internet services and software, rubbing shoulders with Google ebay etc. We are in to Computer Hardware(HP, Dell), Computer Software(microsoft), Computer peripherals, communication equipment and services(Lucent, motorola). Our products just don't cater to Enterprise segments(SONA, Unified communication) alone, but we serve the Commercial segment, The service provider segment(settop boxes from Scientific Atlanta) and the consumer segment(Linksys). Going by the no-so-latest figures, its said that there are atleast 40 million Cisco devices in the consumer segment. So though we do lot of things, we have not created the sense of "familiarity", thus resulting in not so optimal rank.

So why do I think Cisco would move within top 15 and then within top 10? Its the same reason as to why you see brands like Google and Ebay showing awesome growth in their brand values..46% and 18% respectively..Take Ebay...they don't sell products but what they sell is "ecosystems", platforms over which others can build there own applications and make money. Cisco, I believe would move up the brand ladder because they are working towards positioning Cisco not as supplier of switches or routers but as a company that supplies "Intelligent Network platforms" over which others can build there own applications and provide services.

So until pandemic like SAARS/Ebola breaks out or Al-Quida strikes heart of New York or London or the price of crude oil skyrockets to $100 a barrel and thus sending the world into another round of recession, things look bright for Cisco and yeah Cisco shares ;)

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