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rebranding STEC to sTec

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor - - April 24, 2013

See also:- Branding Strategies in the SSD Market, Marketing Views

It started like this... Incoming emails from STEC started to manifest what looked like bad typos in the subject line and within the text. Were they genuine or spam? After a while it became apparent that the company had undertaken an unannounced rebranding exercise. This spoof article first appeared on the SSD news page of
great lessons we can learn from SSD leaders
You can learn a lot about SSD design by talking to people who have designed world leading SSDs.

Even when they don't want to tell you the exact details of how they've solved a particular kind of problem - the numbers they drop along the way (we got 85% efficiency at this, or we got a write speed which is 2x faster than what you'd usually expect from this type of memory) can illustrate the probable paths their inventive minds went.

The reverse analysis (or educated guesswork) is helped along by knowing that there was a solution and because there are only so many ways you can shuffle the architecture, software and silicon deck.

But is it the same with SSD business development and marketing?

If company A chooses this route to market - while company B - which has a very similar product - is reporting much better success by their unconventional way of reaching customers - what can that tell you about how to mange your own SSD business?

I thought it would be interesting to see if we could reverse analyze the processes which one of the world's leading SSD companies must have gone through recently to arrive at a solution which surprised me - and which some of you have been asking about in your emails.

The SSD company formerly known as STEC would prefer now to be called sTec (sic).

What was the shtik?

I may have got some of the intermediate details wrong - and I don't know for sure - how long the whole thing took from the start to finish.

But I think it's possible to reproduce some of the steps this company took by knowing what their starting point was - and seeing where they got to in the end. I think the solution itself also reveals a lot about this company's priorities.

Hush now while we drop in to eavesdrop on the raw genius of the creative process...


nope. that's the one we've grown tired of


Personally I like it a lot. But I don't think that's the direction we're supposed to be going in.


I really like that too but I don't think it's allowed either. Have you read the email?

the one which says why we're doing this?

it was sent last week.

you found it? good.

No. I haven't read it either.let's start again at the top


yeah - the good oldie. It's a classic.


that's much better already


are we going in the right direction?


no - that's way too boring and predictable


no - that's too modern


that's a definite improvement already


is that getting better or worse?


looks too similar to where we started


I told you to be careful. Let's just go back to one at a time.


I meant in the other direction


are we putting colors into this? No. And we had that one before. Let's go back to that one we had before.


that's it. Are we done? No - I meant - let's start left shifting from here.


that's not what I meant. Can you roll it back?


I still like this one the best. Now shift the upper case one to the left


that looks horrible. Maybe we're going the wrong way about it. Let's pause here and come back after lunch.


that looks weird. How about if we change all the cases?


Saint ECC? I don't think so


that's not even the right letters. Yes we do have to use the same letters.


and in the original order. Let's start again.


how many permutations can there be?


maybe we already solved it and didn't realize. Should we get a focus group in?


why don't we print them all out, cut them into pieces, put them in a jar and then pick one (without looking)

what do you mean you weren't saving them after they rolled off the top of the screen?

how many have we got left?

no don't press any more buttons

are you sure that's the one?

can we print that?

are we ready then?

my hand doesn't fit in the jar

is there anyone in the office with small hands?

what do you mean you don't feel comfortable asking your co-workers if their hands are smaller than yours? OK I get it. No - we don't want to get HR involved. Can we find a bigger jar?

got it.

should we be videoing this moment for posterity?

I declare the winner to be...


don't press upload to youtube just yet

here's the next one


no one will believe us when we tell them how hard it was
Editor:- I hope you find the dramatized account above useful and self explanatory.

As I said to one reader this morning - the transition from STEC to sTec (is that the right one) is a symptom of what happens when a company (which previously behaved as though it rated the importance of investing in marketing as close to zero) buys into mistaken concepts of what marketing is really about.

...Later:- 2 months after publishing the above article - it was announced that the letters "c" and "e" had been shifted to become "h" and "g", and furthermore the order of the letters had been shuffled around and all of them had been recapitalized.

So the end to end process went from STEC, to sTec to HGST.

But if I'm really going to complete this picture then I should remind you that long before all the above rebranding convolutions occurred - back in the cold winter of February 2007 - the company which we later grew to know as "STEC" - sold off the SimpleTech brand name, along with its memory business to focus more on SSDs. This transition from SimpleTech to STEC was self evidently pragmatic and didn't require any further explanation.
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