Kingston Technology is appealing to system builders to help bring computer memory brands out of the box and into the limelight in a strategy known as component level branding.
Theoretically, the recognised quality reputation of components within a system offer the potential for resellers to differentiate the products they sell from those using lesser known component manufacturers.
The company supports three business models in its memory manufacture - proprietary brand memory for the channel, its OEM contract business and the whitebox market. It is this latter market to which Kingston is targeting with its ValueRAM offering - a low cost memory alternative for system builders.
"Channel memory is specifically designed to support brand platforms," Kingston's director of its ValueRAM and consumer markets division, Kevin Ford explained. "ValueRAM is a product line definer that is focused on the value space. The market segments that have opened up are primarily with the whitebox vendors."
Kingston launched ValueRAM in October 99 and within a year, the product line grew to account for 11 per cent of Kingston's overall business. That allows Kingston to drive the type of volume that leads to economies of scale, according to Ford.
"ValueRAM is based on market reference pricing," he said. "We are negotiating the price sometimes on a daily basis to accommodate the fluctuations in the market and to drive volume. The terms set are designed to accommodate the volatility of the market, so we have stripped out the robust term set to be price competitive.
"Our proprietary product line and our ValueRAM offerings is the ultimate one-two punch. In combination, Kingston services the entire after market segment of memory for the channel."
Kingston is looking to help build upon its brand image in the end user market.
"When resellers sell memory into a box, it is hidden - noone sees it. We want to provide the incentive to box builders to pull the Kingston brand out of the box," Ford said.
The vendor relies heavily on resellers to build its brand name recognition within Australia. In the past Kingston's marketing campaign has largely dealt directly with distributors, but the company is repositioning that focus increasingly towards the reseller channel.
"The reseller is really the brand specifier so working with them is very important," said international sales country manager for Australia and New Zealand, Keith Hamilton. "Kingston is the alternative to PC OEM memory. It allows the reseller better margins without sacrificing on quality."Photograph: Value RAM by Kingston