With WD, You Won’t Be Left Feeling Nostalgic: Interview with Khalid Wani

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Western Digital have kicked off a campaign emphasising the importance storing your memories with secure and reliable methods. With their product offerings, such as My Passport Ultra Metal, My Passport Wireless and My Cloud, along with the My Cloud app for Android and iOS. While our photos have always been an important means of capturing our favourite moments, providing great moments of reminiscence, it has become even more vital in terms of digital storage, which is why WD has launched their campaign, “With WD, You Won’t Be Left Feeling Nostalgic.”

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Press Release:

Every year South African’s enjoy various holidays with family and friends, providing some fun times that can be captured, creating some of your very best memories. However, once the holidays have come and gone, many of us are left feeling nostalgic and longing for the past. Nostalgia is described as a defence mechanism that the mind uses to elevate the mood, triggering ‘good times’ memories. WD knows the importance of nostalgia and rather than having to recall those good times by memory, they have a number of portable devices allowing you to not only recall your greatest memories but share them too.

With devices such as the WD My Passport Ultra Metal, the WD My Passport Wireless and the WD My Cloud, WD offers families, hobby enthusiasts, prosumers and consumers a range of products that ensures those favourite nostalgic memories are not only stored by are kept save. They allow users to save, access and share their favourite photos and home videos from anywhere, letting you reminisce and recapture those good times from yesteryear.

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FoS managed to spend some time with Khalid Wani, Sales Director at WD India, Middle East and Africa. Wani took the time discuss the importance of storing and protecting one’s special memories, personal content and data storage, as well as a few of the drivers behind the campaign, latest technology development that ensure users never have to fear losing their digital content or never being able to capture the feeling nostalgia after a wonderful holiday.

ES: Could you please elaborate on WD’s campaign, “With WD, You Won’t Be Left Feeling Nostalgic”?

KW: WD believes that people in South Africa are very fun-loving people who enjoy life to the fullest. That’s the first impression we get. Through the years, we’ve seen South Africans enjoying a lot of precious holiday moments, with family and with friends. And these are fun times and they love living those lives, starting off with small braais with families. There are these moments and holiday periods in SA that people enjoy. When they enjoy these moment, they want to capture them, and relive and enjoy them with family and friends, and make it nostalgic. There’s a great saying that goes: sometimes when you go to school it’s not the marks you secure that you remember, but the fun time that you spend with your friends that you remember. And that’s the whole idea. We wanted people to be ensured that their memories are secured, such as the pictures that they take, and they can go back to them and revisit those moments, and feel nostalgic about those moments. WD provides excellent products, which allow people to secure these precious moments, with our Passport line of product, our Ultra line of product, the Passport Wireless, the My Cloud. People can secure this content and secure these moments, and pictures and relive them. It’s important for people to ensure that they have a back up these pictures and have it available with them, going back to them whenever they want to relive those nostalgic moments. That’s the idea of putting this promotion across and encourage people to save, access and share their photographs from anywhere in the world with their families and friends, letting them reminisce and recapture.

ES: You mentioned a few of the physical drives as part of the campaign. Is the campaign geared specifically for those products, or is it also open to cloud storage and the promotion of that platform?

KW: Yes it is. It’s actually open to every product of ours that consumers can use to back up their precious moments. They could use the My Passport Ultra, the My Passport Wireless, or they could even use the My Cloud product line. It all depends on different consumer sets. It could be a consumer like me who prefers to have a portable storage device that could be accessed through multiple platforms. So I could use the My Passport Wireless and have up to 8 users connected to that [device] and share the content. Or it could be a user who prefers to have his entire storage connected to his home network and him being able to access it from anywhere in the world using his smartphone, tablet, laptop, or internet. In that case, the My Cloud would be the product he prefers to [opt] for. It’s, then, not limited to any specific product, but limited to any product the consumer has access to where he can buy it from off the shelves from any of the retail stores. So, to answer your question: No, it’s not limited to only [physical storage], but also includes My Cloud.

ES: With South Africa, still being considered a developing nation, what sort of challenges does WD have with this running this type of campaign?

KW: So like every other market, there are a few challenges that we would encounter in order to drive such a campaign is about communicating the campaign to the consumer, making sure that every mode, or every medium that is available to us, whether its print, radio, or online, and talks about how critical backing up is for consumers. Although this campaign is all about the nostalgia feeling and with a lot stuff that’s going to happen around holidays for people, but, in essence, the whole concept of promoting the ‘back up’ message to consumers is important for us. The challenges that we face is about the fact that educating the consumer has never been easy, so we tend to use all mediums that are available for us; the media, online, and a lot of activity in the stores to be able to communicate to the consumers on a one on one basis. So that always becomes the challenge, and it’s a very slow process, taking a lot of effort and a lot of time, but we are commit to drive that continuously to the market, and hopefully we’ll get there.

ES: While it’s not entirely related to the campaign, given the Thailand floods of 2011, and with prices only now returning to normal and stabilising, has this affected the South African market?

KW: Price stability is always good for business. We want to make sure that consumers benefit from a stable platform. The Thailand floods was [somewhat] of an exception and did create bit of a panic situation in the market, but with the overall stability coming in, and the overall business, we believe that it won’t have any impact on the South African consumer. We always want to make sure that we provide the consumer with the best technology updates, bringing in new products from time to time.

ES: With smartphones being so pervasive in the modern world, are WD focusing specifically on a few products around this environment?

KW: Directly focusing on products hooked up to smartphones, currently, no. But smartphones is, at the end of the day, a very important product line for us. We believe that with the trend that smartphones have created, especially with content creation, is phenomenal and any device out there in the market that is sold, which allows users to create content is very critical for us. Eventually the consumer wants to ensure that they’re backing up and protecting that content and that’s where our products help them. So for us right now, the more smartphones are being advances, the more point-and-shoot cameras are being advanced, which is allowing them to create content, and that helps us to drive and sell more HDDs. [An option here] is your My Passport Wireless, where you could connect your smartphone to the device, and have up to 8 smartphones connected to it, accessing and sharing the content, which is available. A lot of the devices that we’re working on is not only limited to your laptop, but products like the My Passport Wireless are directly attached to your smartphones, wirelessly.

ES: You mentioned in your first answer the topic of data security and reliability, and storage of digital content for consumers. What sort of investments and developments are WD involved in to take on such a task?

KW: If you look at the overall failure rate of our products, WD has the lowest in the industry and we’re very proud of the fact that we are the most reliable hardware provider in this category. I think that that’s something as a company we place a lot of emphasis on, and our R&D teams and factories work tirelessly to ensure that the product we are able to deliver on this to the end consumers is reliable, which passes through a lot of quality checks to [deliver on this reliability.] Reliability is fundamental to our business, we wouldn’t want to compromise on that at any cost.

ES: Back to the campaign. What markers have been put in place to determine the success of the campaign?

KW: There are a lot things that the team are doing right now besides ensuring that we’re well positioned. We’re talking with a lot of people in the media and working to ensure that the campaign is fairly visible for all our retail stores. We’re working very closely with our retailers, with our partners, our channel partners, and different segments of the media to ensure that there is a lot of word that we put across to get the level of visibility that it requires. It’s not always easy to do that, as you know, and does require a lot of investments as well. So we believe that this will be an ongoing effort for us, and we don’t want this to be a one-time thing, and we want to make sure that we continue to encourage consumers to know about how critical backing up is for them. It’s not only related to nostalgia, it’s also related to the basic essence of ensuring that you’re backing up your content right. It’s not only about pictures, it’s about your files, your critical documents and making sure you’re backing that up.

ES: Given that the campaign has been ongoing for a few months now, has WD noticed any traction as yet?

KW: Campaigns like these do result in a traction, and the reason why this has to be a long-term campaign is because the messaging around the campaign is not something that is linked to a specific event or linked to a particular promotion, it is something that is recurring and nostalgia is a recurring thing. You could have a birthday party tomorrow, which could be a nostalgic event for you. These kind of things would continue to be driven from us, and it’s a long-term traction. We obviously see spots of traction when you’re running such a campaign, but for us it’s a long-term effort that we want to put in the market, rather than just a short-term one.

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