Building a Brand Around Open Source #foss4g

Some of the discussions that could be found in the hallways were around the issue of branding and whether it makes sense to continue to promote the organization, OSGeo, or the conference, FOSS4G. Both have gained an element of notoriety but confusion ensues in linking the two to essentially the same goal, i.e. the promotion of open source software as a viable alternative to commercial software. A few were emphatic that the organization should rename itself to the same "brand name" as the conference. Yet, OSGeo probably has more immediate traffic to its website because it represents the going concern of the community.

It will be a challenge for the new OSGeo board to tackle. But in terms of Marketing 101, you brand extend the product and leverage the corporate brand where possible to grow to a larger entity. For example, there is Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero but Sprite is a product of the Coca-Cola Company. Coca-Cola is rarely identified as the product much anymore. So, OSGeo, if it wants to extend the brand, might consider FOSS4G North America, FOSS4G Europe, etc.  But what to do about OSGeo? That's more of a challenge. 

This, however, represents growing pains of the open source community. It's a good problem to have because it signifies a movement that people are passionate about preserving.

Published Friday, September 16th, 2011

Written by Joe Francica

Published in

Open Source

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