The Importance of Distinguishing Features in Online Branding


ADOTAS – While we were writing some blogs at SocialNuggets, we thought of adding thumbnails of various tablets. Then started our search on Google and Yahoo! for images of various tablets. What we found was an utter lack of branding in the tablet marketplace — except in the case of Apple.

Here is a chart we produced with thumbnails of various tablets. Can you really recognize any of the tablets? Well, I can only recognize Apple’s iPad and none else. When I asked people who own non-iPad tablets to tell me which thumbnails pointed to their Android based tablets, most of them failed in this exercise.

How About Smartphones?

Just having an Android label to kick start the market was a great idea and it worked for smartphones. However, if you ever see an HTC phone, it does have a clock image that can be differentiated even in the smallest of the thumbnails. BlackBerry has a very unique image that distinguishes it. Samsung doesn’t have a consistent image but with the launch of Galaxy II, it is getting better at it.

So What Happened to Tablets?

Needless to say Apple is the only manufacturer whose iPad tablets have a very differentiating look no matter which angle you look at. For some reason every other tablet (sorry HTC, clock is not enough to differentiate your tablet) manufacturer went with generic Android look except for some minor differences. Even RIM chose the generic look for its Playbook, leaving it no differentiation in appearance.

Oh yes, HP folks probably recognize their blue screen which became the blue screen of death for the device. It seems Amazon has learned that lesson already and has a distinguishing image for itself. This may not be sufficient but will contribute to its success.

Rethinking Product Looks in the Age of Internet

In the age of the Internet, products are typically evaluated online first. If your product doesn’t have a unique look, it will be lost in the crowd and all of your branding exercises will merely go to waste. So before you put out a product in the market, see what its thumbnail looks like on the web when your customers search for it.


  1. […] He has been a founder and CEO of four high-tech startups with three successful exits and has significance expertise in growing companies, building and managing teams, and consummating large deals. Paul has 20+ years of experience in marketing and business development in the mobile, Internet, security, data and the telecommunications software industry. Paul holds a BSEE from Delhi University and MBA from St. John’s University, and has written three books on Internet related topics. He is the Marketing Chair TiE Silicon Valley, world’s largest non-profit entrepreneurship organization. Read more on Online Branding […]


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