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Lenovo's branding, differentiation & Positioning Strategies

o Evaluate the pros and cons of choosing to focus on a master brand instead of a house of brands such as ThinkPad.

o Discuss has Lenovo differentiates its products in the marketplace (innovation, efficiency, both, something else).

o Discuss how Lenovo can use Thinkpad to build the Lenovo brand without hurting the Thinkpad brand.

o Discuss how Lenovo should position itself: As a new Chinese company? A combination of East and West? An international firm? Why?

Solution Preview

The following answers will help you develop the perspectives. There are references too which you can use:

1. Evaluate the pros and cons of choosing to focus on a master brand instead of a house of brands such as ThinkPad.

Solution 1:
There are a lot of advantages and disadvantages of Master brand - an umbrella brand which are as follows:

Advantages of having a Master Brand/Umbrella Brand
- Low cost of branding in case of extending the brand and having the master brand.
- New product can gain easy acceptance in the market by use of a master brand's brand equity.
- Master brand helps in building sub-brands
- For technology companies like Lenovo, the technological obsolescence is so fast that it is difficult to build strong independent brands in the long run.
- Product is regarded as reliable if it is under a master brand by their suppliers, distributors and consumers.

Disadvantages of having a Master Brand/Umbrella Brand
- Deterioration of image of master brand will lead to deterioration of image of all sub-brands also.
- Master brand may have a different identity and may not signify what sub-brand stands for. For example, Cookie Man brand name can be kept for biscuits and chocolates but cannot be kept for automobiles or consumer electronics.
- Acceptance of sub-brand is influenced by acceptance of master brand.

2. Discuss how Lenovo differentiates its products in the market (Innovation, Efficiency, both, something else)?

Solution:

With "Lenovocare", the company Lenovo focused on the product design and with "worry free computing", the company focused on user friendliness ...

Solution Summary

The solution explains the advantages and disadvantages of having a master Brand. It also describes the branding strategies of Lenovo and the impact of Lenovo as a Chinese brand on the Thinkpad brand acquired by the company from IBM. The solution suggests a suitable strategy to be used to position Thinkpad differently and maintain its own identity distinct from the popular Chinese product identity which are considered as poor quality of products in certain Asian nations like India. The analysis is based on the attached case and use of outside references also. The list of references is also provided.

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