It seems obvious to say that computers have changed both life and work irrevocably. Even in emerging economies, among the vast numbers of people who don’t yet have bank accounts, an astonishingly large number do have access to and make use of the Internet, either using computers or their mobile phones.
Hidden inside the obvious, however, is a fresh concept – and that is that computing is now so embedded in the way people function both at home and at work, that personal computing, in the form of PCs as well as smartphones and tablets, is transforming itself, quite naturally, into personal technology.
Personal technology refers to a continuum or ecosystem of related technologies, all of which in slightly different ways enable us to connect to the information and people we need. So, personal technology includes digital TV and being able to send and receive emails – and other information – through our TV sets, being able to watch videos and movies with full Dolby sound on our laptop screens, participate in video conferences via our mobile handsets, make phone calls from our laptop computers, and work on complex spreadsheets on our smartphones.
Some of these capabilities already exist and some, like working on a complex spreadsheet on a smartphone, are some way off yet.
The underlying principle – and user desire – however, is the same: We want to be able to do whatever we need at the time using whatever technology is available at the time. And, we no longer see the need to have one kind of technology at work and one at home or at play. The lines between work, play, and home are blurring progressively more. Hence the word ‘personal’ attached to the word ‘technology’.
Everything we do is ‘ours’; so it’s personal.
More to the point in all of this, however, is the word ‘do’.
People who don’t ‘do’, don’t really need or want technology. But do-ers do very little without technology.
Take the example of rally drivers, who do most of what they love or are paid to do in cars. So one would think that, for them, technology would be only a nice to have. In fact, GPS technology, is essential to finding the route. Many of the vehicles themselves are computerised. And every racer has a smartphone to communicate with his support team – and his friends and family – and takes videos with his camcorders and uploads his progress to his own website or social networking sites like Facebook. At the very least, he Tweets.
So, there’s ‘doing’ at more than one level. There’s the doing of rally driving. And there’s the doing of finding your way with the GPS, Tweeting, sending smses, taking videos, and uploading to websites.
Importantly, it’s all doing related to reaching goals, making things happen, getting things done.
Doing is about achievement. Personal achievement. Using personal technology.
Building our brand on and for the do-ers
Lenovo is the world’s fourth largest PC brand and it’s also the world’s fastest growing PC company. A remarkable achievement considering that our brand is only five years old and is largely based on the legacy of innovation, reliability, and robustness of the products developed by the company we bought and continued by us.
In its own right, Lenovo has a strong brand only in its home country of China. Imagine, then, how we could accelerate our growth, globally, if our brand were on everyone’s lips everywhere on the planet!
Once the decision was made to achieve that, we had to decide what the anchor would be for the brand. And, of course, that meant deciding who our target market was.
That was both complicated and simple. Lenovo’s own values are based on balance – across markets and products. We didn’t want to aim for a particular market and sacrifice the steady growth we were already achieving fairly evenly across the enterprise, SMB, and consumer markets.
By the same token, we knew that the SMB market is the engine room of most economies and SMBs prefer laptops. IDC ranks the SMB laptop market as the world’s largest and fastest growing commercial segment, set to grow by nearly 20% annually from 2011-2015. Specifically, growth of PC sales in the SMB segment in emerging markets, excluding Latin America, over the next 4 to 5 years will be twice that of mature markets.
In addition, we instinctively understood the growing trend towards personal technology and away from personal computing.
Then, we made the link from the personal technology trend to those who do – most of whom occupy the SMB and consumer spaces.
Doing is a Lenovo core value
The beauty of the link between personal technology and those who do is that Lenovo is itself, inherently and quite naturally, a ‘do’ company. Our designers and engineers are members of the do generation. They intuitively and instinctively see technology as an extension of themselves and not as something additional to their real lives. Technology is their life. And they’re continuously improving on what technology can do – as much for themselves as for our markets.
Consequently, Lenovo PCs are rock-solid, highly functional tools that ignite human accomplishment. Not just potential and not just possibilities but real action and tangible achievement.
For instance, our machines for large business are tested against MIL Spec criteria to provide utterly reliable performance in any environment. Customers rely on them to lower their total cost of operations (TCO). Built-in innovation and rich functionality allow business users to be more productive and efficient.
Our machines for small business combine dependable performance and a sleek progressive design to give small business customers an edge. They incorporate innovative features and services to drive down immediate and long-term costs, and allow customers to get more efficient and productive.
Designed to fit different lifestyles, our machines for consumers perfectly combine form and function. They are thinner, lighter and use less power, to enable consumers to experience true freedom and go the distance. They incorporate useful innovations and strong multimedia entertainment capabilities to simplify and entertain in the same breath.
In other words, we realised that ‘doing’ is Lenovo. And that, in doing, we serve our markets in exactly the ways our markets want to be served.
So, why not tell the world of doers that what we do helps them do?
Hence a brand campaign called For Those Who Do, focused on results and best practices and aimed at simplifying and unifying our brand and product strategy while creating a differentiated Lenovo personality and voice.
It is also geared to strengthen positive perception of the Lenovo brand in preparation for our rolling out an ecosystem of products that includes tablets, smartphones, smart TV, and digital home products.
We’re positioning the Lenovo brand around people for whom technology is not a badge to some cool club but a tool to help them achieve their goals. One of our key targets, therefore, is the youth market – students, entrepreneurs, artists, activists, business owners, and educators who live to make things happen.
Inherently, the key attributes of the brand personality are: walk the walk, want it now, commit, doing, integrity, make it better, imagination, ingenuity, ambition, obsession, positivity, optimism, purpose.
The brand campaign represents a significant long-term investment for Lenovo. It will roll out in the emerging markets during 2011 and will include all aspects of the company’s marketing efforts – from print, broadcast and electronic advertising and product packaging to web design and retail.