Will Android Kitkat kick-start a new age of branded technology?
September 05, 2013 at 12:30 PM
by Mikul PatelDigital Marketing Consultant at Matraxis
Windows Dairy Milk Edition, Firefox Mustang or perhaps OS X Buzz Lightyear? As gimmicky as they sound, this could be the future of branded technology releases.
Hot on the heels of Microsoft proposed takeover of Nokia, Google announced a surprise deal with Nestle to name the next release of the Android OS "Android KitKat"; moving away from the generic sweet themed release names for previous versions. Will this spark the technology industry to create partnerships and brand their technology with large multinational companies?
Why brand technology releases?
This would be the obvious reason which could work both ways. A large multinational company may wish to sponsor a technology service in return for branded exposure. This model could allow tech firms to offer their products at a lower cost or even free; avoiding the trap that app firms make when trying to monetise their service once it becomes popular. Alternatively, a large technology company may pay for the rights to use the licensed name of a global brand to increase market share.
Building on current relationships
If the partnership is already in place, why not take advantage of it and cross promote? Using Apple and Pixar animation studios as an example, Apple already release their OS X with generic animal themed codenames but why not utilise beloved character names from Pixar films such as Toy Story of Finding Nemo?
Create new cross promotion
When you consider that neither Google nor Nestle paid the other for this arrangement, there has already been talk of the cross promotional opportunities to promote both brands. Nestle plan to release special Android branded wrappers of KitKat to allow consumers to win a free Nexus tablet or Google Play credit.
Barriers to being branded
With partnerships comes the association with brands. If one brand has a controversial history, which could be applied to Nestle and their much publicised baby milk scandal, there is a potential risk to damage a brands image in the future.
Different company cultures may also prevent partnership deals being setup up. Where tech firms are generally young and fast moving, global multinationals that have been around for decades may have a more conservative view when it comes to digital technology. In the case the Google and Nestle, it apparently only took 24 hours from proposal to get the agreement signed off...now only if all companies communicated that fast!
It will be interesting to see if Google and Nestle continue their partnership for future releases of the Android OS and the buzz created both offline and online...perhaps next we will see Android Smarties or Android Aero?
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