Why ASUS Matters

ASUS officially announced the Eee Stick today, and my first response was “What were they thinking? And how is this necessary?” However, after further thought, I think I can argue that ASUS has done something right. Many may complain that ASUS has diluted its Eee brand after the success of its first product, the 7″ Eee PC. Since the launch of the Eee PC, ASUS has announced a whole line of Eee PCs, an Eee desktop, Eee monitors, TVs, hard drives, optical drives, 3G cards, and now this Stick. Behind ASUS’s gall and disregard for normal progression, however, is the determination of a company that, if it plays its cards right, is on the verge of an enviable position and a great opportunity. ASUS is becoming more reminiscent of the young Sony that was poised to conquer personal entertainment and the digital household. It is obvious that Sony has lost some its edge in the last few years, and it seems that ASUS could pick up the slack. A company that can deliver vertically integrated goods in the consumer electronics space is in a desirable if not threatening position. Microsoft’s new strategy is to be embedded everywhere, ASUS can help deliver that. Apple wants to meet your digital consumption needs, ASUS can compete with that. ASUS used a unique product and coupled it with a unique proposition (cheap, highly utilitarian) and unfortunately a horrible brand name. A flurry of seemingly distracting product announcements later, and ASUS has, in one short year, weasled its way into competion.

Hopefully Asus realizes its fortunate situation and does not lix things up. And hopefully they’ll hire some designers and brand managers as soon as possible.