Here's Brand Guru and Blogger Seth Godin on the problems that Carly Fiorina faced at HP:
The reason Carly had so much trouble at HP is that they were under too much pressure from Dell. If you're going to be the standard, you need to be boring. If you're boring, you've got to be cheap. Cheap and standard is what Dell does best, and I don't see how you can beat them at that game.
Hmm, sounds about right, but really, it's nothing groundbreaking. Is the idea of The Brand an outmoded concept in a time when paid-search is becoming a pre-eminent way of connecting buyers and sellers? Just take a look through Seth's blog. So much of what appears to be "branding" is actually just good decisions about products. What happenned to the day when the CEO's job was to "Not just sell cell-phones, but to sell spiritual connections between people in far-flung regions of the world". Perhaps such nonsense has/will have gone the way of throwing rubber chickens around the office.