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With apologies to the singer and songwriters behind "Lookin' for Love," Jim Cramer thinks some investors are looking for tech in all the wrong places; lookin' for tech in all the same faces….
That's not to say the cloud, or the PC refresh cycle or the demand for semiconductor chips aren't solid ideas; it's simply that Cramer believes tech plays can also be found in areas where you might not otherwise be inclined to look.
In fact, Cramer thinks tech plays can be found in other industries altogether. He calls these kinds of investments "stealth tech. "
"When I talk about stealth tech, I'm referring to companies that are using proprietary technology," Cramer said. In turn the technology allows the companies to either gain market share, win new business away from rivals or offer customers a preferred experience.
One of Cramer's favorite stealth tech stocks is Colgate.
"I know, this classic consumer staple company is not what you'd think of as a technology play," Cramer said, "but Colgate's success is due, in large part, to technology used to create products that are genuinely better than the competition."
Cramer views Colgate's Optic White as a prime example. The toothpaste leverages technology used in whitening strips and therefore not only cleans teeth but can make them whiter, too.
The technology led to a better product and customers noticed. In 2012, Colgate said that Optic White was a big reason behind its ability to gain share in the toothpaste market.
However, if Colgate isn't your cup of tea, Cramer said there are many other stealth tech plays; in fact the "Mad Money" host seems them in almost every corner of the market.
"How about Under Armour?" Cramer said. "Under Armour became a household name because its technology gave birth to an entirely new category of sportswear, one that wicks moisture away from your skin, keeping your body at a more comfortable temperature, even as you perspire. "
Cramer went on to say that technology is such a big part of Under Armour's culture, CEO Kevin Plank often talks at length about the company's latest breakthrough on his earnings calls.
Elsewhere in the market, Cramer said part of Starbucks' success has everything to do with technology, too. "You may think of Starbucks as a coffee retailer, but its mobile payments system is cutting edge; among the most advanced anywhere. It's so effective at getting people through lines quickly, I think they could make a killing if they licensed their platform to other chains. "
Cramer also cited Domino's as another stealth tech stock, due to its social-based ordering system. "You can order pizza via your Facebook page." And Cramer added Snap-On is yet another stealth tech stock, due to its innovative diagnostics equipment.
Read more from Mad Money with Jim Cramer
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If you're like most investors, Cramer says you'd never, in a million years, think to look at the companies mentioned above as leaders in technology. And yet, Cramer says, they absolutely are.
In each case technology led to better sales, which led to increased profits which led to higher share price.
Again, Cramer refers to the phenomenon as "stealth tech," and he thinks it's a theme that's highly investable. "It's a favorite of mine and one that doesn't get nearly enough attention."