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Inventing a slogan - and nothing more

Hewlett-Packard have been using the slogan ‘HP Invent’ for a while now. From what I can see this is mostly a marketing campaign incorporating advertising in relation to innovative programs/magazines/events etc. For example Spark on CNN, a show about technology and innovation, which is sponsored by HP invent. But does HP do anything else than advertise that they are innovative? Have HP come up with any new innovative products lately? It seems they are spending too much money on telling consumers that they are innovative instead of actually delivering innovative products. Look at Apple for example, a company that is seen as a very innovative company. They don’t advertise their innovation directly like HP does, but still they are looked as much more innovative. Why? Just look at their best-selling and newest products. The AirPort Express which you can use to wirelessly stream music from your computer to your stereo or the iPod & iPod Mini. Innovation delivered. And there are countless lesser known brands who continuously offer new and exiting products. What is HP doing? A good & stable printer or a boring digital camera with the same zoom and features like the rest of the bunch. I read a case study about HP before the HP-Compaq merger, but I don’t know that much about the company - so I might be wrong here. But I do think HP is not successful with their HP Invent campaign. They are not backing up the slogan with actions that the average consumer can see.

An article (Losing the HP Way) in the recent issue of The Economist outlines the problems that HP are facing now, 2 years after the HP-Compaq merger. Disappointing profits in a positive turning industry. The journalist suggest that this is due to HP problem with positioning in the market (which is related to my point above) and that the organizational structure might not be the best to utilize all the different segments and product types in the company. HP is divided in four organizational structures: Server/Storage, Professional Services, Computers and Imagining. There are no overall business/consumer differences in the organization, like similar companies have.

Written on 22 August 2004.
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