Monday, October 09, 2006

Cisco wants consumer awareness

Cisco Systems thinks, not unreasonably, that a $28 billion company should be well-known. Consequently they are launching a $100m ad campaign to familiarize consumers with the Cisco brand.

The question is whether there's a lot of value to building consumer awareness of a brand that markets its products primarily to businesses (Cisco's major consumer line is under the Linksys brand name).

Bostrom argues that more of Cisco's corporate products--such as voice over Internet Protocol phones, Wi-Fi handsets and unified communications software--are finding their way into the hands of consumers by way of their corporate IT departments. And she believes that these people, who purchase a lot of gadgets for personal use, have a big impact on which technologies their employers choose to buy.

"Technology that we use in the office is seeping into our everyday lives," she said. "And technology decisions that used to be made by the enterprises are now being driven by end-user demands. It's these end users who are encouraging the technology decisions at work."

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