Case No. 1
INTEL: BUILDING A TECHNOLOGY BRAND
Intel’s corporate branding strategy, which many credit for the company’s unparalleled success in the microprocessor industry during the 1990s, stemmed from a court decision. On March 1, 1991, District Judge William Ingram ruled that the “386” designation used by Intel for its microprocessor family was a generic description and could not be trademarked. Intel had been confident that the judge would rule in its favor, and the unexpected court decision effectively invalidated Intel’s current branding strategy. This decision allowed competitors to use Intel’s established naming scheme, which would have been disastrous.
Intel’s response was to develop a trademark name for its processor family, the now-familiar “Pentium,” and launch a corporate branding campaign designed to make Intel the first name in processors. Both moves proved to be enormously successful. Intel became one of the leading companies in the PC boom, enjoying virtually unchallenged market leadership through the 1990s. Problems arose, however, as the PC industry slowed down in the early 2000s. Intel faced a future where the PC which represented the core of the company’s microprocessor business, was no longer the essential tool for the Information Age. Wireless telecommunications devices were becoming increasingly popular, and they required different types of processors.
The company had spent over three decades building the most recognizable brand in the PC microprocessor industry. Intel’s challenge in the new century was to extend into innovative categories while maintaining the equity in the brand and its microprocessor leadership position. In response to this challenge, the 2006 Intel retooled its brand identity, restructured its brand architecture, and launched an entirely new branding campaign called “Intel. Leap Ahead.”
Intel Corporation was founded in 1968 by Robert Noyce and Gordon