Lenovo outlines channel marketing strategy

Published: May 20th, 2011

LAS VEGAS – Lenovo‘s chief marketing officer David Roman has a unique marketing challenge. The former Apple marketing executive is tasked with bringing-up the market awareness of Lenovo worldwide.

After surveying the marketplace, the company found that only three people out of every ten were even aware of Lenovo. “This is the time to invest and to build the Lenovo brand,” said Roman, especially as Apple was named the most recognizable brand in the world by the Millward Brown agency.

Roman put the Lenovo brand marketing campaign up for a competitive bid process won by renowned advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi. According to Roman, these bids cost agencies any where from $200,000 to $500,000. This was an indication to him that advertising agencies believed in the Lenovo brand long term.

What Saatchi & Saatchi/Lenovo came up with is the “For those who do!” campaign, which will come in three phases starting this May. The first phase of the “For those who do!” campaign will be a declaration of what Lenovo is. Phase two will be product proof showcasing Lenovo technology. The last phase is called people proof, showing what people can do with Lenovo technology. This marketing effort will start in the U.S. and carry over to Canada.

Roman said this marketing and branding effort will run approximately two to three years. “I am looking for that wow factor in marketing. We have the choice of what we do, so why not stand out? Everything we do has to have an impact and we need to make sure people notice,” Roman said.

The third phase, Roman said, is key as it will show unique computing environments such as a Lenovo notebook mounted on a motorcycle riding through the desert; a disc jockey producing music at a nightclub; and mounted in a storm chaser vehicle and sky divers with an IdeaPad.

This marketing campaign will be part of the newly redesigned partner portal and as part of marketing development fund asset for channel partners.

This third phase will contain videos Lenovo hopes will go viral, focused on the end user. One of these videos will feature Raymond Lee, the man who invented the water jet pack. Roman added that the “Do” campaign is focused on the youth market as those are the ones that build your brand.

Lenovo Canada director of channel sales Stefan Bockhop said the subsidiary has already laid out the foundation for this marketing effort for Canadian channel partners with enablement tools inside the partner portal, for example.

“Partners can deliver against them in any one of these campaigns, like content syndication. The ‘For those you do’ theme can be used in data sheets or in an HTML newsletter that will have the flavour of the Do campaign. For us we are not kidding about this. It has to resonate strong and has to be core to how we see ourselves. This is a campaign that you can get the sales force easily behind and be passionate about,” Bockhop said.

Lenovo will also use alliance partners Intel Corp. and Microsoft in its channel marketing efforts. Co-sponsored ads from Intel will show the “The Do Inside” logo and Microsoft’s will have the Windows 7/Lenovo Rapid Boot logo.

Follow Paolo Del Nibletto on Twitter: @PaoloCDN.