Seriously. When IBM Corp. entered the personal computer business in 1981, Apple Computer Inc. — then the dominant market leader and maker of the Apple IIe line of desktop machines — ran a full-page advertisement in The Wall Street Journal with the screaming headline: “Welcome, IBM. Seriously.”
I’m guessing we’ll see no such ads from Hewlett-Packard Co. or Dell Inc. greeting the arrival of China’s Lenovo Group Ltd. after its US$1.25 billion deal to buy IBM’s PC business. That’s because unlike Apple Computer’s smug marketers of the early 1980s (and, need I say, beyond), HP and Dell know there’s no reason to anger a dragon moving into your neighbourhood.
Lenovo’s acquisition is part of a long-term strategy by the company and its backers to become a major IT player in the West. It changed its name officially this year from Legend after it encountered too many trademark problems in Western countries. Executives knew that the new name had to be easy for English speakers to pronounce. I think they did a pretty fair job with “Lenovo.” If Lenovo advances the state of the art on PCs by integrating features that IT craves, such as security and reliability, while holding costs down, it stands a good chance of holding on to existing IBM PC buyers and winning new ones to the Lenovo brand. Mark Hall>Text
The company is also working with the Chinese government to take a prominent role during the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. That’s because it rankles government and business leaders that China hasn’t produced even one global brand. The nation may be a global economic powerhouse, but none of its products are household names.
Lenovo plans to use the Olympics to help turn its name into something closer to, say, Coca-Cola or Nestl