Lenovo seeks global status

28 February 2012

BEIJING: Lenovo, the technology company, is setting its sights on becoming the "first big consumer brand" from China to achieve international prominence and recognition.

Lenovo became the leading PC manufacturer by market share in China in 1997, and currently takes 35.3% of sales in the country, which overtook the US as the category's largest market in 2011.

At the global level, figures from IDC, the insights provider, showed that Lenovo has been the fastest-growing of the five main PC companies in each of the last two years.

The company is now the second-ranked player in the sector, holding a 14% share, only slightly behind Hewlett-Packard, on 16%.

"We want to be the first big consumer brand to come out of China, which is a big challenge," David Roman, Lenovo's chief marketing officer, told PC World magazine in an interview.

"I think within the next few years, we will become a very well-known brand in the personal electronics space."

To encourage such a process, Lenovo launched a global marketing campaign for the first time in 2011, aiming to engage consumers in diverse geographies including Germany, Japan, Russia and the US.

Based on the slogan "For those who do", this effort also incorporated product placement in the film "Transformers: Dark of the Moon". These moves have already made an impact among 18-34 year olds in America, Roman revealed.

"In the US, from March 2011 to January 2012, we saw an increase of 204% in purchase consideration for Lenovo computers [among this audience]," he said.

"More and more will depend on the consumer space, which is where the technology is going," he continued. "This has been a crucial priority for us."

Despite its progress in the US, Lenovo holds a modest 7.3% market share, making it the sixth-largest player in the category. To bolster this total, Lenovo will focus on products with a "wow factor", Roman said.

"All computers, most cellphones and tablets are all made in China, no matter which brand," he suggested. "So I think people are used to seeing that a level of high quality is coming from China."

Data sourced from PC World magazine; additional content by Warc staff