While it may be all well and good to have cutting edge products, they will not make a dent in the market without a strong branding strategy.
According to Lenovo Asia Pacific and Latin America marketing and communications vice- president, Howie Lau, the way Lenovo tackled this challenge was with its “For those who do” campaign that went into effect in mid-2011.
“We knew that we wanted to build up our company brand, so we went to several agencies looking for help with this,” he said.
The result was a tagline that communicated that people use technology nowadays to get things done, as opposed to using technology for the sake of it as may have been the case in the past.
“PC technology is no longer a fashion statement, but integral for people to get things done,” Lau said.
In order for Lenovo to have a brand that resonated with its products, Lau says that the vendor acknowledged a need for consistency in its product line-up.
“We looked at the culture of our company and decided that we are a business with integrity committed to delivery,” he said.
The “For those who do” campaign consisted of a three step process that began with a declaration, followed by product and people proof in the form of specs and a product ambassador respectively.
One of the more notable things Lenovo did with the campaign was commission a 400 metre wide billboard in Russia outside the Kremlin.
“We wanted every country and region to understand out brand essence and products, so we sometimes mixed it up and used local elements for promotions,” Lau said.
The waiting game
While Lau says that recognition of Lenovo’s brand is on the rise thanks to no small part to the “For those who do” campaign, Lau says it is still early days and "a brand is not built in one year.”
“There is a famous quote by [Chinese philosopher] Lao Tzu, who said, ‘the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’,” he said.
“We have only taken the first step, so the rest of the journey yet remains.”
When it comes to what Lenovo’s priorities are around the world, Lau says that the vendor want to be the most sought-after “PC+” brand.
“We intend to achieve this through integrated marketing investment and priorities globally,” he said.
Providing “innovative” solutions and carrying out “big splash” launches are also part of the equation, which Lau sees as being key in providing a memorable customer experience.
When it comes to Lenovo’s approach to the promotion of its ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook, Lau says the theme behind it is “The book of do,” which connects to the vendor’s overall branding campaign.
“We are highlighting its ultra slim and stylish design, as well as its long battery life,” he said.
With the 20th anniversary of the ThinkPad, Lenovo is using the opportunity to promote the long history of the ThinkPad brand while launching the X1 Carbon.
“With the ThinkPad Yoga, which combines tablet and notebook functionality, we are promoting the fact that it is launching a new category,” Lau said.
Patrick Budmar travelled to Lenovo’s media event in Tokyo as a guest of Lenovo.