Marketing is a very powerful tool.  A successful marketing campaign or product segmentation can increase sales more than ten-fold.  It is not something we hear or talk about much in the motherboard arena – while a manufacturer will try and promote all the features they have on a product, advertising is usually limited to web advertisements, gaming shows, or an attempt to get as many positive reviews in the media as possible.  But certain manufacturers do enjoy branding their products – Republic of Gamers, Sniper, Big Bang, and Fatal1ty.  Today we are looking at just that – a Fatal1ty branded product, the ASRock Fatal1ty Z77 Professional.

The Fatal1ty Branding

I will cut straight to the heart of the branding.  Jonathan ‘Fatal1ty’ Wendel is a professional gamer, considered the first true professional gamer notching up near US$500,000 in prize money and twelve world titles in First Person Shooter games.  He has been featured in several mainstream magazines and media outlets for these achievements.

Since 2007, he has toned down his active competing, focusing more on selling himself as a brand, on anything gaming related from (and I quote) “motherboards, energy snacks, sound cards, gaming desks, computer mice, headphones, and power supplies bearing his moniker”.  One could hardly criticize him on this as he is capitalizing on a dream that many gamers have – to turn professional and make it a true money earner.

The issue comes from the direction of the marketing.  I should note that this paragraph is a personal ditty rather than views of AnandTech.  As an ex-clan gamer several years ago, I wanted to be better than others on my own steam – people like Fatal1ty seemed very smug to get to where they were and the mindset was to be the best by beating everyone, not by helping them in their career by investing in their products.  This attitude, in my opinion, is copied over most of my local circle of fellow gamers, especially those in the western hemisphere.  As a gamer, being reminded every time I start my computer of ‘the ultimate challenge’ is not a road I wanted to walk down, so you would buy a product which did not remind you of any gamer who had ‘made’ it.

Nevertheless, I did discuss this mentality with some regular and senior members at ASRock last year at Computex.  In their view, the Fatal1ty branding had increased sales significantly of their higher end offerings, especially in eastern hemisphere.  This essentially describes a very different mentality from what I perceive – the idolization (or willingness to accept) of professional gamers against the ‘us vs. them’ mentality I have encountered amongst my peers (of whom only one person owns a Fatal1ty product).  In my view, perhaps it might benefit ASRock sales in certain areas of the world to market under a new, non-person specific moniker, such as the ‘ASRock Gaming Series’, and have boards named the ‘Z77 Extreme G6’ or similar.

ASRock Fatal1ty Z77 Professional Overview, Visual Inspection, Board Features
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  • SlyNine - Monday, May 21, 2012 - link

    It's not pointless at all. Because you don't know wtf you're talking about or what I use my stuff for.
  • f4phantom2500 - Monday, May 21, 2012 - link

    clearly you're looking for a flame war, noting twice that you needed to use a fuckload of hard drives without stating why, then jumping some guy's shit when he points out the impracticality of it, again without stating why...but don't worry man i'm sure you're too busy saving the world with your 10 hard drives and shitty internet to be bothered to explain your master plan to a simpleton like assball or myself.
  • SlyNine - Saturday, May 26, 2012 - link

    LOL whatever you say. Like we all have a choice on where we live or our ISP. So somehow because I don't share details of my setup with you im instigating a flame war. Weird logic.

    If anything you're adhominem attack is instigating some flame war.

    I have a media server...seems like kind of a DUH statement, as thats the most likely thing someone would use that many HDDs for. I take blu-rays (about 250 so far), demux and remux them in to MKVs and I have about 2 TB of lossless music. Plus I have a lot of shows. It makes sense, since I have a crappy internet and streaming isn't practical, not that I want someone to control my media anyways.
  • DJMiggy - Monday, May 21, 2012 - link

    My LCD makes my crappy internet better as well.... Wait WHAT?
  • Dark_Eternal - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I'm pretty sure he meant that he doesn't play FPS games online anymore because his Internet connection is slow and LCDs are too laggy for him. Even though he did sound really angry. :P
  • SlyNine - Saturday, May 26, 2012 - link

    Yea, it doesn't make me happy lol.
  • SlyNine - Saturday, May 26, 2012 - link

    Wait you got "My LCD makes my crappy internet better as well.... " out of "To bad I moved to a place with crappy internet, and was forced to buy a LCD."?

    Seems pretty clear, I use to have a good internet and good CRT, but because I had to sacrifice both of them my gaming suffered.
  • SlyNine - Sunday, May 20, 2012 - link

  • LeftSide - Sunday, May 20, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the post times! This will be such a great benefit when I decide to upgrade my HTPC. Plus, shining light on post times gives MB manufactures incentive to increase performance!
  • ShieTar - Sunday, May 20, 2012 - link

    "One interesting novel setting that ASRock now have is the ‘Dehumidifier Function’."

    Is there any justification why this is labeled as dehumidifier? Is this supposed to be relevant for people with leaky water cooling systems that run up a significant relative humidity inside their cases? Without a source of humidity inside the case, there is no reason why the air that was pulled in at room temperature should suddenly have a higher humidity after cooling down to room temperature again.

    Or is this setting still exactly as useless as it was a few years back when some company tried to sell it as an "overheating at switchoff" protection?

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