Corporate Eye

Adobe – Losing Brand Focus or Extending the Brand Wisely

adobe creative suiteThis week, Adobe announced it is acquiring Omniture for $1.8 billion.  Adobe is a brand known for making graphic and web design software products.  Omniture is known for making web analytics tools.  Adobe claims the acquisition will allow designers, developers and online marketers to have an integrated workflow from design all the way to tracking results.  The Adobe press release even alludes to Adobe software including “optimization capabilities embedded in the creation tools.”

What do you think?  Has Adobe lost brand focus with the Omniture acquisition or is this an intelligent extension of the brand?

It seems like a big stretch to me.  If I were an Adobe stockholder, I’d really need to be sold on this acquisition, and not because financial analysts are suggesting that Adobe spent almost twice as much for Omniture as they should have.  My questions about this acquisition are related more closely to the fundamental roles and personalities of people who use design software and people who use metrics tools.  These are two very different user groups — the left-brained vs. the right-brained, and I think most members of these two groups are very happy where they are and want nothing to do with the “other side”.  I can’t think of many designers who would jump up and down enthusiastically at the thought of integrating analytics tools into their workflows.

Suffice it to say, Adobe has its work cut out for itself in terms of brand positioning in the future if the company does plan to integrate design and analytics into its existing products.  To many people, they’re like oil and water.  Can Adobe fuse the two mindsets into a coherent package?  Can the subjective creative process marry the objective analysis process?  It remains to be seen if these two opposites attract.  Can Adobe succeed?  What do you think?  At a time when most brands are working toward contraction and strength from focus, is Adobe making the right choice to extend its brand to include a seemingly disjointed product?

Can design and analytics live happily ever after together?

Image: Flickr

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.