Linksys Brand Endures
Linksys will be coming out later this year with new products, and they will be Linksys-branded, Sohl said. "Were not looking at making any changes as of right now. We have a whole slew of products to announce, we just had our big Connected Office Day about two months ago; we have a lot of products lined up for the holiday season, which will all be coming into the market with Linksys on them," Sohl said."It is true what John [Chambers] said, that the Linksys name isnt as strong overseas as it is in the United States," Sohl said. "So we have some work to do." Ironically, Linksys announced earlier this month that it wanted to improve its brand visibility and make its products more available in India and the Far East. Sanjeev Gupta, Asia Pacific sales director for the division, said that "we are working closely with our two distributors -- Ingram Micro and Redington -- and efforts are under way to understand and meet the regional demand." Cisco
acquired Linksys Inc. in March 2003 for about $500 million, becoming Ciscos first strategic acquisition in consumer and home networking.
Click here to read Linksys move into storage products for SMBs.
Media relations reps at Frys, Best Buy and Circuit City all declined comment to eWEEK, saying that they do not offer public statements on companies branding practices.
However, customers at the Frys retail warehouse store in Palo Alto, Calif., told eWEEK that, yes, branding does make a big difference when it comes to making a purchasing decision.
"I have bought two LAN setups -- both from Linksys -- for my home over the last four years, upgrading from 802.11B to 802.11G, and Im very happy with the performance," said Brandon Bergstrom of Mountain View, Calif. "When I go back to upgrade next time, Ill look for Linksys equipment, because my experience with Linksys has been good.
"Even though I know in the back of my mind that Cisco and Linksys are one and the same, it might still affect my buying decision."
Fellow Frys shopper Howard Ahearn, Sunnyvale, Calif. offered a succinct comment: "Why should I go looking for a Cisco home router? Cisco doesnt know anything about home routers."
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Linksys sells products in about 80 countries, and about 30 percent of its revenues come from international customers, Sohl said.