©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.
Cloud computing has given way to what might be called “cloud branding,” that is an attempt by tech companies to “own” not just the gadgets consumers use, but the experience around it as well. Such is the vision of Richard Gerstein, svp-worldwide strategy and marketing for Hewlett-Packard’s Personal Systems Group. Gerstein, who joined HP in 2007 after holding marketing posts at Sears, Alberto-Culver and Procter & Gamble, plans to launch a “new vision” for HP’s consumer products in the U.S. in 2011. The mission: Changing the way consumers think, feel and connect. It’s a tall order for HP, which is best known for reliable hardware, but not for innovation on the consumer side. (This is a company that once resold Apple’s iPod with an HP logo on the back.) Gerstein discussed that plan, HP’s Palm acquisition and how marketing computers compares to marketing detergent.