IBM is a well established brand in the personal computer market. Before being taken over by Lenovo in 2005, IBM was seen as a brand that provided comfort to its customers. IBM customers felt safe when using their products as they knew that the company was a credible personal computer manufacturer (Keegan and Green 455).
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The IBM brand also experienced negative publicity as it was seen as a third ranked brand in the PC market. Its prices were also known to be expensive and this made it unappealing to non-industrial users. The IBM ThinkPad was largely adopted by industrial users who had the ability to afford its high price. It was also famous within this customer segment as it was IT friendly and so could accommodate most of their technical needs.
Lenovo on the other hand was perceived in the global market as a product for the east. The brand lacked a strong presence in the west as it was perceived to belong to users fro the eastern part of the world. Lenovo was however cheaper as compared to IBM and this made it appealing to other PC customers who were not industrial users.
The Lenovo brand was seen as a brand of the east because it was strong in China but insignificant in the west. Given that the IBM brand name would not be in use after 2010, it would be wise for Lenovo to begin building its own brand equity as early as possible. Even though in 2005 the IBM name was stronger than Lenovo, slow integration of the two brands would yield results by 2010.
Consumers simply need time to adjust to changes in the market. Just as the perception of Lenovo as a company changed from domestic to an international company, the strength of the brand name can also improve in the market. With a target period of 5 years, Lenovo could have planned to take over the market share that was earlier possessed by IBM.
Publicity is something that is created but not bought. Good publicity is developed when a brand is known for positive attributes such as reliability, speed, life, affordability and quality customer service of its support team.
When a brand is able to sell itself, then that makes it easier to for the marketing team to publicize the brand through sponsorships. Lenovo’s move to sponsor the 2006 Olympics was a premature action since the brand was not yet known and appreciated in the market. The sponsorship therefore ended up not achieving the kind of exposure that the company desired.
Olympics sponsorships work for multinational companies that have established themselves on the ground and are able to meet great demand in the market. The Olympics is watched by people who are not formerly employed such as students, housewives, businessmen, sportsmen and other self employed individuals.
This is the reason companies such as Coca Cola, Visa, Cadburys, Nestle and Energizer benefit from marketing themselves in the Olympics. The products of these companies directly benefit people who watch the Olympics since they become thirsty, develop cravings for snacks and require batteries for their remote controls.
The products of Lenovo nonetheless are used by an audience that is employed and busy throughout the day; e.g. IT specialists, managers and other professionals. Lenovo should therefore approach a different audience from Coca Cola and Visa.
Since Lenovo targets small businesses and IT departments of governmental agencies and large corporations, it should consider using direct mail and internet marketing to create awareness. Direct mail would work well for governmental agencies since they always access these services on a daily basis.
IT professionals on the other hand are always online and so online marketing would be an appropriate method to communicate to them. Lenovo can use YouTube videos to run demonstrations on how their products work. These would be viewed by IT professionals who spend a lot of time in the internet researching on technological innovations.
Keegan, Warren J and Green, Mark C, Global Marketing, 6th ed, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2011. Print.