IFA 2008: SanDisk Repositions Sansa Brand & Updates Players

Finally learns its marketing lesson as the Clip batters all small players before it.

While it certainly wasn’t the most headlining news of IFA 2008, subtle changes are underway at SanDisk which look set to give it a larger presence in the overcrowded MP3 player market.

Foremost is the company’s new approach to branding which sees the ‘Sansa’ name moved above its own in a move reminiscent of a certain Cupertino based giant. This makes sense given users’ tendency to talk of “iPods” rather than “Apple iPods” and pushes the Sansa brand more into public consciousness while creating a less convoluted message.

This tactic of simplification is being applied beneath the surface too. Much as Apple has decided on the ‘shuffle’, ‘nano’, ‘classic’ and ‘touch’ lines it appears SanDisk has settled on ‘Clip’, ‘Fuze’ and ‘View’ meaning a welcome goodbye to messy product codes. No longer will we need to remember whether we want an e240, e260 or e280 – the 2GB, 4GB and 8GB versions of the old e200 range – but instead we’ll ask for a 2GB, 4GB or 8GB Fuze, a 2GB or 4GB Clip or an 8GB, 16GB or 32GB View. Far more sensible.

It is a move that looks like it will pay off as well with word on the grapevine that SanDisk’s new strategy is about to win over the hearts and minds of several major high street chains (I know who, but am sworn to secrecy).

Lastly, SanDisk has also given a new lick of paint (quite literally) to its Fuze and Clip ranges with new colours being made available while the Clip itself has been quietly boosted to a whopping 8GB making it 4x more capacious than the largest shuffle and twice the size of rivals like the Creative Stone Plus and ….

So with clear branding now in place and retail deals in the offing expect big things from SanDisk before the end of the year (*wink, wink, nudge, nudge*).

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