I recently had to jump up to the M-Audio web site to check some information on an interface. It struck me that the products, the web site marketing, layout, support and even the forum seemed to belong to a different and to be honest, more together brand.
I'm puzzled that if Avid have managed to keep M-Audio together, both in name and in feel, with its groundbreaking and brilliant products such as Axiom Pro and some of its very cool audio interfaces, how it managed to first kill the Digidesign brand and secondly loose any sense of purpose in the audio division? Eleven Rack was the last thing and in some ways the Digidesign swan song.
I work in a marketing and communications world, I know that when brands change it can have a temporary blip as some die hards try to keep the brand alive for nostalgic reasons. But I wonder if, as has been shown in history with the examples like the infamous Coca Cola rebrand that Avid should have left Digidesign as it was.
Shakespeare once said 'a rose by any other name would smell as sweet' (para) but when it comes to brands they extend beyond the name. A brand identity reaches into the public and corporate psyche to create either, on the positive side an affinity and trust, or on the negative side, indifference or distrust.
This in fact may be at the heart of a lot of the negative stuff that Avid get these days, to put it simply that for some 'they killed my Digi' or 'they messed with my brand'. Even if it's not as extreme as these response, it could be a even greater killer, sheer indifference to the Avid brand in the audio community.
Whatever it is, if Avid can breath life into their ex-Digi range and give it the same magic that M-Audio has, then they will win a lot of people over. Or perhaps it's simply time for Digidesign to rise from the dead?
I came away from the M-Audio site feeling good about them and their products, if only Avid could do that for the other stuff, a personal connection to an inanimate object may seem odd, but we do it all the time with our laptops, iPods or phones - Apple are the kings at creating this, and of the M-Audio gear I have this is the case, so how do they achieve this with Avid audio?