Barry Altman is on about  to relaunch the Commodore brand on computer market. For the ones reading this and not being close to retirement, the Commodore 64 sold in over 17 million units between 1984-1993, which actually makes it the most popular computer ever.

Mr Altman is convinced that there is  a slot open for another computer brand in the world. Is it really? The huge success back in the days was probably due to aggressive pricing and the fact you could by it almost everywhere.

Today the scene is different The market has been divided in to value brands like Dell, mainstream brands like HP and premiums like the Sony Vaio. And of course the aspirational Apple. All of them available almost everywhere.

Will nostalgia be able to bring sales to the Commodore brand, or is it as doomed as an old rock band re-union? An interesting headline and then disappointment? Or will it actually work? And what position will the brand claim?

I think sometimes, you should just let sleeping dogs lie.

GM is hardly the brand think tank of the world. Numerous are the wrong decisions, bad strategies and hopeless executions. Seems like that culture has not changes. According to the NY Times the GM VPs Jim Campbell and Alan Batey recently send a note to the organization, telling all to quit using Chevy, Chevrolet’s nick name.

Someone needs to tell these gentlemen that if people are using Chevy – they will continue doing so. It all relates to to Brans Lesson Learned #1 – a brand is not what you say it is. It is what they say it is. And just because of that, a brand’s doesn’t go away or disappear because you want it to. You can’t kill a brand. They only die of natural causes.

I come back to the fact that your brand is what they say it is while you own your trademark. And usually that trademark is a name of  a service, product, product family or a company. A successful brand bring a clear promise to a specific part of the population, also known as your target group. If you do this right, the promise that you bring is something that is relevant and attractive to that target group. It is easy to see that the most successful brands of the world has a strong (emotional) promise directed to a clearly defined target group.

Sounds real easy, doesn’t it?

And it is. As long as the target group doesn’t sound like “younger middle aged women living in urban areas”. You need to show more interest in your target group than gender and postal codes. Today there are many great methods to segment and define them by values and behavior. GlobalScan or WesternScan are the ones I prefer, but there are similar models, just as good.

The main thing is to get to the point where you can say: “Here she (or he) is! Our loyal customer. The one we sell our_______to!” Everyone in the organization need to know and feel who that person is. That will be your first step to getting that strong brand. The easiest way to do to this is to listen to the voice of your customer (VOC). But at the same time as you do that customer survey, find out something more about them and their lifestyle. For example; what other brands do they prefer?

Then, the next step will be for you to define what you actually deliver. What is your promise? That is, as you probably have guessed, another lesson.