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animal brands in the SSD market

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor StorageSearch.com

from the series - Branding Strategies in the SSD Market


Would users buy an SSD just because it has an animal printed on the label? If so - what animal should it be?

Marketers use animal brands for products for a variety of reasons. And there are hundreds of examples of fluffy, cute and fierce animal brands already in the storage market.

But what about SSDs?

Animal brands used in the SSD market aren't chosen for their cuddliness. They have been used to suggest toughness, durability, speed and other desirable characteristics as you can see in the examples below.
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Examples of animal branded SSD product lines
the swordfish - from Huawei Symantec ........ I learned something new when I expanded the image of an enterprise SSD family (launched in July 2011) from Huawei Symantec.

When I noticed the picture at the left hand corner of their enterprise rackmount system I saw something which looked like a swordfish. And googling it confirmed that yes -indeed - the dorado is a type of swordfish - as well as being the brand of a tier 1 FC SAN SSD.

A-DATA - changed its logo in January 2010 to include a hummingbird - shown below. What has this got to do with its SSDs?

Nothing. In my view this is just one of those soft and cuddly animal metaphors. As you might expect - the company - which targets consumers had a more elaborate way of describing cute and cuddly... This is what A-DATA said when it launched the hummingbird logo

"A posture with agility represents the wide range of technological development. The lightweight and flexible wings portray the phenomenal speed with which ADATA provides its customers with the most comprehensive services and solutions within the shortest time. The energetic character signifies to explore the unknown and to continuously discover the possibilities of applications..."

Are you still awake after reading that?

In the advisory email sent to editors it called this rebranding theme - "Fly, Catch, Go!"

I didn't make this up. My editor's comment at the time was - "Presumably 99% of the marketing budget went into drawing the pictures - which didn't leave much for the text."
A-DATA's humming bird logo

Angelbird is the name of a company which develops PCIe SSDs. The company says that its "ArchWings" concept will let users upgrade capacity by adding cartridges.

Dolphin Interconnect Solutions - who marketed a family of PCIe SSDs in 2009 used that marine mammal in their company logo - as you can see below.

I'm unsure why that name was originally chosen as the company name. This could be one of those examples where a cute cuddly animal image was chosen to give customers a warm fuzzy feel. Perhaps appropriate - given the company's cold artic-like origins in Norway.
click to see profile for Dolphin

Foremay - used Cheetah in the name of its 2.5" fast SSDs (June 2009 ). The company later dropped "Cheetah" from the product ID and used numbers instead.

Marvell has various animals in its chip and controller product lines. In the SSD market it has test marketed a product called the DragonFly - a PCIe SSD.

memblaze logoMemblaze Technology - a designer of PCIe SSDs - has a dolphin in its logo too.

It's not the first dolphin or fish to adorn the logo of an enterprise SSD company. And it won't be the last either.

The appeal factor in these aquatic metaphors may be the grace and flow and the ability to seemingly just glide through the air and the water almost effortlessly.

Memtech (until its acquisition by STEC in 2005) used a herd of animals. These included:- Bulldog, Hornet, Mustang , Panther and Wolverine for product lines and Elephant (which never forgets) in its company logo. See some examples below.

Memtech also used the speed metaphor - "Rocket" - for one of its SSD product lines.
Memtech logo circa 2005. click for 2005 profile. ..........
low profile, high capacity  3.5" IDE military temperature range solid state disks from Memtech
3.5" low profile IDE
mil temp solid state disks
from Memtech

Vanguard Rugged Storage - has used a hybrid of Cheetah and Rhino to brand the company and (at one time) its SSD product lines. The company also uses zebras, bulls and other creatures for other types of products.
click on the animal brand image to see associated SSD range

WhipTail Technologies - used a lizard-like image - in various documents related to its NAS SSD product line. The example below is from its Viper partner program.
click to read more about Viper partner program
In 1993 - StorageTek acquired Amperif which had been selling a RAM SSD product called Arctic Fox.
SSD Market History
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SSD ad - click for more info
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More examples of animal branded SSD product lines
Skyhawk - is the name of a rackmount SSD launched by Skyera in August 2012.

A year later - in August 2013 - Skyera added to the SSD bird population with their skyEagle (a 1U half petabyte rackmount).

click to see video
Yes that is a dinosaur you can see in the background of this May 2012 video from Pure Storage and other animals appear in supporting roles too.

Active Media Products in July 2009 - Active Media launched its SaberTooth brand of SATA Mini PCIe MLC flash SSD cards as upgrades for Asus Eee PCs.

The company's use of the SaberTooth metaphor (see below) is trying to suggest speed. You have to imagine a SaberTooth tiger - because the animal image isn't shown (just the words) running as fast a speeding bullet (which is shown).
SaberTooth SSD brand image - click to see more info

PhotoFast started marketing various types of SSDs in 2009 - under the G-Monster brand. The idea behind many of these products is that they are a lot faster than most other consumer SSDs.

There are many strains of the G-Monster gene - different shapes for different SSD form factors. They remind me visually of the toys called transformers.
Gmonster image - click for this species of PCIe SSDs

Platypus Technology (no longer in business) was a one time maker of NAS compatible SSDs. It used the Platypus in its logo (see below).

Why a Platypus? - because the company was founded in 1999 in Sydney, Australia - and this is an iconic and unique animal which is only found naturally in that continent.
Platypus

Princeton Technology used Lynx as the name of a 2.5" SSD family.

StorageTek (no longer in business) - in 1994 - marketed a RAM SSD product called Arctic Fox which had been developed by a company called Amperif Corp, acquired in 1993.

Mushkin unveiled a PCIe SSD in 2012 marketd under the "Scorpion" brand.

StorageSearch.com has used a mouse image since 1998. The original marketing thinking behind Megabyte the mouse is described here.

Early versions of the site banner played on the theme "let our mouse guide your mouse to better storage..."

Early metaphors included barrels for storage, cheese for data and motor bikes for fibre-channel.

One of the original (1998) Megabyte images was that for solid state disks. If you click on the SSD image below you'll see an expanded version - along with the original text caption.
solid state disks  - click to see larger image
Megabyte was later joined by other members of the Byte family, including:-
  • his niece Killerbyte (audibly same as Kilobyte - and visually she is always shown toting a hand gun or rifle) - used for military / rugged storage.
  • his nephew Cheaperbyte (who is always shown with a cell phone in hand) - originally used as a n image for VAR content.
  • his uncle - the software wizard - Spellerbyte (play on spell a byte / write a byte string) used for software.
  • his auntie - the witch - Wanda who was originally used on SATA storage and later for SATA SSDs.
  • his ancestor - Sir Squeaks-a-bit - used for flash SSD endurance and rackmount SSDs. Why does he squeak a bit? Because his armor got wet in the rain before a decisive battle.
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