Parks Associates Blog

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Voodoo Envy, One Sweet Machine

Apple iPhone made splashes on Monday on various technology sites and today's HP's turn with its Voodoo Envy and other new products. I did a pre-briefing with Rahul and the team last week. After hearing about all the great features and salivating over the beautiful (and thoughtful) design, my jaw almost dropped when I heard the starting price, only $2,099. Of course, if you really want to trick it out, you can add different options and customize it to your taste. I cannot wait to get my hands on one.

You can go to various Websites, including Voodoo's to find out more about Envy's specs. What I want to talk about here is HP's branding strategy. You've probably all heard about the car analogy by now. Rahul's favorite is the Audi/Lamborghini one and he compared Audi R8 to the HP Voodoo DNA product line. BTW, I did see an Audi R8 during the weekend in Montreal, definitely a piece of eyecandy. By creating three distinctive brand images and diffusing the design savvy of Voodoo throughout the organization, HP has definitely done a much better job in leveraging the Voodoo acquisition than what Dell did with the Alienware brand. The next step is for HP to scale up the Voodoo brands. The company plans to target style-conscious technology lovers with new Voodoo products, instead of power gamers (Rahul said only about a quarter of the Voodoo buyers are actually power/hardcore gamers), which it will target with the HP Voodoo DNA products such as HP Blackbird. Another interesting thing I noticed is the price delta between the Voodoo laptop and desktop lines, which is clearly a conscious decision. With a much lower entry price point for Voodoo Envy, the company is hoping when Envy owners carry their sweet machines with them, they'll draw a crowd, make them salivate, and then surprise them with an affordable price point. Of course, HP is definitely hoping that Envy owners will also become Omen owners, which likely generates higher profit margins.

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