Variety might be the spice of life, but in the computer retail market too much is just plain confusing, and frankly it's cramping Compaq's style.
Compaq has absorbed its ProSignia line of computers into the fold of the Deskpro range, in an effort to streamline products and reduce customer confusion.
"There is a lot of brand equity with Deskpro," said Tony Ignatavicus, manager of product marketing for Compaq Australia. "It's been around since day one, people know it and understand what its benefits are."
Ignatavicus said Compaq went back to the core needs of users and tried to address each of the markets with Deskpro.
"There are two corporate markets, one looking for the latest and greatest hardware on the market and the other seeking consistency and manageability. The Deskpro EN caters to this sector."
"Then there are the small businesses who are conscious of price and value as well as needing ready to run' applications. The ProSignia range would previously have supplied this sector but has now been reinvented as Deskpro EX, Deskpro EXS and the portable Armada 100S notebook. It's really just making it easier for the customer to make a choice," said Ignatavicus.
Fiona Dicker, general manager of Dicker Data, one of Compaq's largest distributors, believes the reshuffle is a good idea. "There were just too many brands within the Compaq name and customers were getting confused," she said.
ProSignia is the most recent of the three Compaq brands, hitting the market 12 months ago, specifically targeting the SME market. "The concept behind the ProSignia range was to capture the booming SME market by offering price-competitive products, and to compete against Dell and Gateway," said Dicker.
"In this respect, they've been very successful, but from a marketing point of view I think it's a good move to merge them with the more traditional Deskpro line."
Prices on the Deskpro EX and EXS are being withheld until they hit the Australian market within the next two weeks. The Deskpro EX, just released in the US, is available as either a desktop or minitower chassis and comes with Intel Celeron or Pentium III processors with speeds of 566MHz to 1GHz, up to 512MB of memory and a variety of component options.