On Thursday 19 Aug 2010 00:48:28 Rémy Marquis wrote:
On Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 2:51 AM, Graham Lauder email@example.com
On Wednesday 18 Aug 2010 03:23:11 Jean-Daniel Dodin wrote:
Le 17/08/2010 15:12, Graham Lauder a écrit :
Understand me: I don't say we don't have to make our logo/branding better! But It looks like you didn't follow all the SuSE history :-). The lizard was changed many times, and once we changed even the green to take blue. This was not a good choice and we come back to green. Let alone because most other colors are already used by others distros.
Ooh god, I remember the blue, Thank heavens that didn't last long. I also remember some pretty good efforts on behalf of our corporate partner. The NLD9 campaign was a pretty good effort, I could never understand why they abandoned that for the Enterprise version. It had impact, good visual identity, good strong message and oozed sophistication and reliability. The washed out green of the SLE10 campaign was a backward step IMNSHO.
Hi Remy, Thanks for contributing to the discussion
According to "Managing Firm-Sponsored Open Source Communities: A case study of Novell and the openSUSE project", the Novell Linux Desktop was dropped because the SUSE brand was better.
Actually you read into Mr Stoveland's thesis what is patently not there. It says nothing about the brand being better, what it says out front and even more loudly in subtext is that Novell buckled to the objections of staff of the old SuSE company.
Not surprisingly, it was a huge change for SuSE staffers, in terms of ownership, in terms of development model. Here was a foreign company jumping in and screwing with their baby, that was going to cause difficulties. In that time of violent upheaval, adding more upheaval was always going to be problematic. There may have been objections from some customers and that is also understandable, but at the end of the day, the decision to drop the NLD branding was about keeping the peace internally at SuSE.
Frankly me I would have retained the SuSE brand for Europe including the pallet and used the Novell branding in the US and elsewhere, car and truck manufacturers do it all the time, brand & label to the market. I believe by not changing it, they shot themselves in the foot in the rest of the world. Why; because now there is a no common branding between Netware and SUSE Linux. This is a problem. Outside Europe, in Novell's preferred corporate and institutional demographic, SuSE was unknown and Netware was a well known brand. The NLD9 campaign was a good campaign it pointed in the direction Novell needed to go: Linux as a seamless replacement for Netware and expanding that global brand out to the consumer desktop, however for such a campaign to work there had to be ownership at the coalface and they didn't quite get that right. Sometimes it is just as important to market a concept internally to get staff to take ownership of that concept.
As Mr Stoveland's thesis reveals, this goal was scuttled by a combination of parochialism at SuSE and a lack of real understanding of the Open Source model at Novell headquarters. After all they were still feeling their way and would never have come up against the rabid passion that most OSS people feel for their favourite project. :)
At that time Novell needed to grow some backbone but they were still floundering about on a whole new learning curve. They needed to retain SuSE staffers because they had no Linux culture in the rest of the company and the SuSE staffers probably were wondering if they wanted to work for this company when their loyalty was to SuSE, not NLD.
It's probably in the Sun Tzu's "the Art of War" somewhere, but you think carefully about choosing a fight with someone who has nothing to lose. You had a combination of people who cared more about "their" brand than their jobs and a community of volunteers whose ownership of the brand goes way beyond dollars and cents! :) Novell, unsure of it's situation, took the path of least resistance.
So Novell backed right off the NLD branding, too far imo. Of course, that this was a mistake is just my opinion, but it's an opinion backed by over fifteen years as CEO/MD of my own companies (rtd in 2003) and being on the outside looking in from a dispassionate viewpoint. It's always hard to see things clearly when you're looking from the inside.
In any corporate acquisition, there is a hearts and minds component It was obviously more important for Novell at that juncture to look after the development staff at SuSE than pursuing a new branding strategy.
"Novell’s first launch of Linux was branded as “Novell Linux Desktop 9”, and was marketed across the world in Novell’s red company colors. According to former SUSE employees, it was a mistake to drop the pre-existing SUSE brand name in the first release: “It was red, all the branding was gone, and we were furious! (...) But then at some point somebody had noticed that SUSE Linux was a very very strong brand.” (interview #23) According to this engineer from the former SUSE company, it seemed as if Novell had underestimated the strength of the SUSE name among the existing customer base and open source community, and therefore chose to keep the SUSE name in its future Linux releases. The next (and current) enterprise release was named “SUSE Linux Enterprise”."
/Save the Planet. Use openSUSE.