A few days ago I attended part of the iPhoneDevCamp which was a fantastic event gathering together a large group of creative people and which was well supported by a range of sponsors. One of the sponsors had a small table where they were both demonstrating and selling an iPhone accessory they make, an external battery for the iPhone with a bunch of very clever additional features. It has an LED light (i.e. a fixed flash for your camera and also useful to have), is designed to work with the regular iPhone dock and chargers, has a USB passthrough to recharge other USB devices at the same time, and holds a charge sufficient to recharge the iPhone twice. All-in-all a fantastic product and though not super cheap, well worth the show special price of $75 and I’m sure lots of people will pay their higher regular price, especially when they come out with their next version for the iPhone 3G.
So what is the problem?
Note what I was unable to do in the above paragraph, I couldn’t refer to the product either by the product brand name or by the nameo of the company, neither brand is present anywhere on the product itself. Now personally when it comes to my clothing and appearance I look for items which don’t shout a company brand, I try to choose carefully those brands whom I associate with my personal image – for example I’m mostly only wearing t-shirts with logos of companies or organizations I support and in most cases really do use myself.
I could not however refer to this product or the company because though they used a very nice material to construct the product the neglected to spend the likely relatively small additional amount to embed their name &/or logos anywhere on the product. Earlier today as I used the device to recharge my iPhone which was dangerously close to running out of battery charge after a long day away from home I wanted to tell my Twitter followers about the product – but was prevented from usually doing so by this lack of branding.
So what is the moral here? Consider how your customers will use your products and without being too blatent don’t be so restrained as to make it hard for existing customers to refer others to your brands and products – indeed you want to make that process of telling people about your company and brands as easy as possible. This also suggests avoiding unpronounceable or really difficult to remember how to spell brandnames or the sometimes used avoiding a word brand at all (i.e. “the artist formerly known as Prince” who after a while decided having a name for people to refer to might afterall be useful).
Oh, what is the product and company? After a lot (and I do mean a lot of poking around and searching I found it). It is the iV from Fastmac. A great product but horrible branding (well complete lack of branding).