How Being Different Landed Lenovo on a List of the World’s Best Global Brands

The tech marketplace has never been more crowded. Blazing a trail to brand differentiation has never been harder. And attention spans have never been shorter. It is against that backdrop several years ago that we began redefining the Lenovo brand.

Today we are excited to announce that, for the third consecutive year, Lenovo has landed on Interbrand’s prestigious list of the world’s Best Global Brands. We thought it was a fitting moment to reflect on why we made the list and how our brand transformation helped us better communicate what truly makes us different.

The Lenovo brand serves as a unifying platform for a business that has grown both organically and through acquisitions, with a product portfolio that spans from mobile phones to data centers. That unity matters immensely to our 52,000 diverse employees around the globe and to an even more eclectic customer base that runs the gamut from teenagers to IT pros, creators to Fortune 500 CEOs. The one thing that ties them (and us) together: a commitment to seeing the world in a different way, to fearlessly exploring new worlds and new solutions, whether they be creative or in business.

Mobile world congress 2017 @ Barcelona

Three things in particular have driven our efforts:

1) Creating a dynamic brand identity

We wanted to design a brand for a world that never stands still.

You can see it in our overall brand identity, which is strong but adaptable so it can flex and flow with the world as it changes around us. Our guiding principle—“Different is Better”—is a clear statement of intent that our colleagues in each corner of the business can adapt and make relevant to their respective audiences.

You can see it in the bright explosions of our visual identity, in the chameleon-esque way we present our logo.

And you can see it at the big trade shows we do every year: in the warmth of our event design, the wild splashes of color (in what can be a largely colorless space) and the familial atmosphere we create when hosting our customers and business partners.

logo in green, tech world 2016 @ san francisco

2) Placing a manic focus on great creative

In an age when most companies are obsessed with the quantitative side of marketing—analytics and standardizing how they measure success—we are relentlessly focused on the qualitative. (We leverage analytics too, of course, but we haven’t let the science kill the craft.) We strive to create bold, unexpected campaigns that make you do a double-take when watching TV or stop your thumb in its tracks as you scan your social feeds.

The unique approach of our recent Yoga and Moto campaigns is testament to this and we are finding ways to tell the “Different is Better” story around our business laptops and data center technology with equal success.

 

3) Having products that are truly different

Great marketing that doesn’t have a strong product behind it holds little value. So at the end of the day, our marketing success very much comes from the quality and true differentiation of the products we create. At Lenovo, we are blessed to work with designers and engineers who wear “Different is Better” like a badge: they create innovative products like Moto Mods that attach to your phone, Mil-Spec tested ThinkPads that can survive great calamities and Yoga 2-in-1s with intricate watchband hinges. Imagine how easy our job as marketers becomes when we have things like this in our arsenal.

the logo in its element: tech world 2017 @ shanghai

It’s no coincidence that the last few years have seen us showing up on more and more important lists—lists for everything from innovation to design and sustainability. We take great pride in this because we worked hard to get here, prioritizing our audience and doubling down on digital and social to connect with people in new ways.

We look forward to another year of being bold and different, of leading fearlessly and bringing as many people along for the ride as we can.

David Roman is Lenovo’s Chief Marketing Officer.