Cloudy Branding.

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In January IBM decided to sell its server business to Lenovo, China. Today about 15% of IBM’s revenue comes from hardware. Cloud computing and services are the ways to a smarter planet it seems. IBM has a well-established consulting business and a wonderful brand so this new approach will be an easy evolution for customers to understand.

The leader in cloud computing is, and will probably continue to be, AWS (Amazon Web Services.) They were the first big player in on-demand cloud services. Microsoft is doing cloud, as are Verizon, Google and lots of others.

One player doing a great job for a while but who lacks some brand strength is Rackspace. They’re not your average by-the-pound cloud provider. Sadly, their name suggests so. You’ve heard the term value-added-reseller? Well, the name Rackspace is about as far from value-added as possible. They may as well have called the company Cloud Vacancy. Hee hee.

Rackspace doesn’t need to change its name (though it wouldn’t hurt). What it needs is a plan to embed some serious meaning into the brand.  It could use an organizing principle that embodies all the smart people, processes and hardware/software advantages this company bestows upon users.

Brands are not empty vessels into which one pours meaning. They are full vessels — overflowing often — mostly in need of organization, an idea, and discipline. Peace.