Back in 2007, Acer bought Gateway and took ownership of a brand that had a deep value but had also lost much of its original strength after years of Gateway’s failure to live up to its brand promise. A brand that once dominated the personal computer market became a victim of its own success by forgetting that consumers had expectations for the brand based on its brand promise. As Gateway tried to reduce costs by offshoring customer service and forgetting why consumers chose to buy Gateway-branded products in the first place, the brand was tarnished and eventually lost its appeal.
The question now is whether or not Acer can revive that original brand promise or create an entirely new brand promise for Gateway that consumers will believe and ultimately buy into. We’ll find out soon as Acer prepares to launch its first Gateway-branded products in the coming months. According to The Register, Acer plans to debut Gateway-branded notebook computers and servers before the end of 2009. The Taiwanese company will unveil its first Gateway-branded products at the Channel Expo event this week in the U.K.
There was a time when the cow-print box from Gateway held significant intrinsic value. Can Acer revive that brand value? It will be interesting to watch this one play out. I argue that there is still a lot of value in the Gateway brand, but much effort needs to go into reminding consumers what the Gateway brand once meant and then living up to the brand’s promise and meeting (or exceeding) customer expectations for that brand with every customer interaction. Of course, Acer might choose to modify the original brand promise. If that’s the case, a significant amount of education will be needed to not only revive the brand’s credibility but also to re-educate consumers to associate a different brand promise and message with a brand that was once (and still is) ingrained in consumers’ minds.
The Gateway brand is not the first to undergo a rebirth, and it certainly won’t be the last. Will Acer put the money and effort behind the brand that is required to overcome negative brand perceptions based on past experiences? What do you think? Can Acer successfully revive the Gateway brand? Are you rooting for or against the Gateway revival?
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