The technology field is getting more cluttered, placing a greater importance on branding, said Brian Sharples, president of IntelliQuest, at the company's Brand Tech Forum Three in San Jose, Calif. Mr. Sharples presented research among purchasing influencers that showed the average number of unaided computer brand mentions increased to 3.6 in l995 from 2.5 in l993 for the desktop market. For notebooks the number of mentions increased to 3.3 today from 2.6 two years ago. The number of brands considered for purchase, however, remained virtually flat at l.9 for desktop and 2.1 for notebooks. "Buyers are much more aware of brands," Mr. Sharples said, "however they don't have the time to consider additional products. That's where image really comes in."