Intel: a Case Study in Corporate Branding

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Perhaps the most successful technology company to balance the dual requirements of innovation and reliability in its branding is Intel.

Because of the fears consumers have, when things go wrong with technology products they react disproportionately. Take the well documented example of Intel, when initial faults discovered by customers after the launch of the Pentium chip by Intel were potentially devastating,and the company was receiving up to 10,000 calls a day from dissatisfied or unhappy customers. Good crisis management saved the day, and Intel regained their position of trust and high quality performance in the minds of consumers.

Intel is a model of good technology branding and positioning, and had it not already had a strong position crisis management may not have been enough to save the day. The company really survived and prospered because of this, and has shown how a power positioning approach can solve the problems of consumer technophobia, with its now famous Intel Inside campaign. As a component that is not visible to consumers who buy personal computers, and OEM producers offering price advantages to manufacturers, this was no easy task.

The Intel position has always been based on authenticity, quality and performance, supported strongly by consistent global campaigns. The Intel Inside logo is placed on all print advertising, print and point-of-sale merchandising, shipping cartons, packaging, and is used by world brand and OEM computer manufacturers. Supported by explanatory communication material, it has to a large extent succeeded in calming the fears of consumers who are doubtful of the performance of critical and complicated product elements they do not understand. The introduction of the Intel 'Bunny people' in astronaut-type attire in an attempt to humanise and add personality to product has not been so successful, being perceived by many as cold and impersonal.

Interestingly, Intel has now developed individual product brands, as...
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