Giants Stand in the

By John G. Spooner  |  Posted 2005-05-11 Print this article Print

Way"> Two giants, Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co., stand in the way. Dell, for one, isnt waiting to see what Lenovos plans are. The Round Rock, Texas, PC maker has been promoting low-price PCs in China, Lenovos home market, recently, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
Indeed, "Lenovo will have to pick its battles," Fiering said. "But when they do hit a market, I think theyll hit it with force."
Whats still up in the air, however, is how Lenovos brands will work together, if at all. The company has begun to introduce itself and its new name. It has put up a new Web site and hired Ogilvy & Mather, which has long been an IBM ad firm, to launch an ad campaign to introduce the Lenovo name. Print ads began running this week and aim to position Lenovo as global company that focuses on design and customer service, Advani said. But the way Lenovo applies its name at the product level—something that also ties in with how the company might introduce new machines to new markets—is still under consideration. The company is working through whether it should have two brands, perhaps one for consumers, one for enterprise, or one for premium products and one for less-expensive boxes, sort of like the way automaker Toyota uses its premium Lexus brand, is still being made, Advani said. "I think they should emphasize Think as a commercial brand, which is essentially where it is now… and use Think and ThinkVantage [IBMs suite of add-ons for that assist in security and maintenance of its PCs] to promote the good works of IBM," said Roger Kay, an analyst with IDC. "They then need to come up with a consumer brand, which could be anything. Lenovo, over time, could become the master brand," Kay said. "In the simplest-possible terms, theres something black sold to enterprises, which sounds like ThinkPad, and something silver thats consumer and is sold through channels or maybe direct, and theres really no overlap between the two." Lenovos product plans are still coalescing as well. The company offers a sneak peek at two Lenovo-designed computers on its Web site, but has cautioned not to read too much into their presence on the site. Click here to read more about Lenovos new online outpost. "Instead of just starting with products, were starting with the markets. Were working our way backward from saying, Where is the opportunity?" Advani said. Still, Lenovo is likely to enter the consumer market in the United States and Europe in some way. It is also likely to expand its business market presence. Lenovo could beef up its product line for SMB (small and midsize businesses), for one, with either all-new products or some of its machines that once only appeared in China. "In SMB, where we have pretty good market share, we can increase our presence by offering a broader portfolio," Advani said. "Thats a very natural thing to do but, again, were stepping back and looking at the entire landscape of opportunities. From a strategy perspective, we want to take a very focused approach, because the markets we enter we want to win." Thus, look for Lenovo to be careful about where it places its effort, Fiering said. "Theyre going to look for logical extensions of what theyre doing rather than huge break," she said. "Theres a tremendous opportunity in emerging economies, SMB and places where the Think brand means something." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.

John G. Spooner John G. Spooner, a senior writer for eWeek, chronicles the PC industry, in addition to covering semiconductors and, on occasion, automotive technology. Prior to joining eWeek in 2005, Mr. Spooner spent more than four years as a staff writer for CNET, where he covered computer hardware. He has also worked as a staff writer for ZDNET News.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel