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Shailendra Katyal: Be honest, consistent, authentic to get to third base with customers

24-November-2011
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Shailendra Katyal: Be honest, consistent, authentic to get to third base with customers

The second speaker at the Pitch CMO Summit, Bangalore was Lenovo’s Marketing Head, Shailendra Katyal. He took the audience through the history of Lenovo, the process of building Lenovo as a global technology brand in India, and what the company has achieved till now. “In March-April this year, we rolled out a new brand repositioning. In some sense, it is the first attempt that Lenovo has made globally to tell the world who we are and in a sense, redefining the category view on marketing. We are making a bold statement as a technology company that we are for those who DO.”

The company is a $22 billion enterprise, also in the list of Fortune 500 companies (450). The brand has a presence in more than 160 countries andin terms of revenues, the tech companyis as big as McDonald’s and Motorola and bigger than eBay and Starbucks put together. It has sold over 60 million ThinkPads and over 10 million Ideapads. Katyal also announced the launch of a new range of Ultra books yesterday in Bangalore.

He outlined how the company began as Legend Computers in China in 1984, the subsequent coming together with IBM in 2005 to form Lenovo. “We got into the mobile phone market in China in 2009 and command a 10 per cent share and also extended our global footprint through tie-ups with NEC and Medion. Weare presently the No2 PC maker in the world,” he said.

To enable direct engagement with customers, Lenovo has come out with 1,000 stores in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities and as according to Katyal’s claims, has the single largest IT retail chain in India. The brand is also engaging with customers on social media channels. “On the first day of the launch of our new community, we asked people to come up with solutions to challenges put online with rewards of $25,000 upwards to support the winning idea. It is a one-year program running across Russia, India, and Indonesia presently. Next month, more countries will join in. We also build authenticity through association with other properties. We want our brand to be seen in the right places – where our target audience is.”

Katyal also came out with numbers to show the success that the brand has seen in terms of numbers after the new campaign – ‘For those who do’ took off. “The brand awareness doubled from 25 per cent to 50 per cent and with the purchase preference going up from 12.5 per cent to 22 per cent. We had a market share of 7-7.5 per cent in 2010-11, Q1 and in 2011-12 Q1, this figure has gone up to 12.7per cent, while the market leader is at 15 per cent.”

He also stressed on how it is important for brands to be global along with local relevance.

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