Since the development of PCs in the late -1970s, the marketing of IT related software and hardware was mainly driven by computer vendors and software publishers. However, Intel related completely on its computer –vendor customers otherwise known as Original Equipment Manufacture (OEMs) to convey to end users the benefits of using an Intel processor. As a result consumers had very little awareness about Intel and its products. Most PC users were not aware of the availability of advanced processors and their cost saving performance.

Intel realized that it needed to create more awareness about itself and its products among consumers. The first focused marketing initiative was developed by Intel in 1990 to market the 386SX microprocessor. A small group of marketing personnel interacted with IT mangers that came to buy PCs for business purpose and briefed them about the features and advantages of the existing microprocessors as well as the new releases. As a result of the above, customer awareness about the 386SX processor increased and translated into increasing sales.

Even as the company initiated marketing activities, it had to deal with certain legal problems. Arch-rival AMD, which had been given the license to manufacture chips by Intel begun making use of the latter’s processor numbers to market its own products, by offering chips at comparatively cheaper prices. AMD captured 52 percent of the market by 1990. According to Intel sources, the company had `assumed’ that the 386 and 486 processors were protected trademarks and that no other company could make use of them. Intel the made attempts to protect the technology of the 386 and 486 processors, As a result AMD Intel for breach of contract. Intel lost the case and the courts stated that the processor numbers were not trademarks. This opened the doors for other companies to use them. Intel realized the need for a better marketing program that would protect it rights. Intel thus sought to create a strong brand to communicate better with consumers, justify the billion of dollars invested in product development, and highlight the superior performance and reliability of its products. The decision to go in for component branding was taken because of the company’s observation that although a microprocessor was a key component of the PC, it was largely seen as `just another component.’

The company developed a component branding strategy that aimed at gaining consumer confidence in Intel as a brand. It decided to run campaigns that would demonstrate the value and benefits of buying a processor from a leading company in the industry. The most innovative aspect of this strategy was the decision to communication directly with end-users. This was a very novel for a `pure technology’ company.

Intel, however decided to go ahead with its plans, and with the help of an advertising agency, Dahlia Smith and white, designed a campaign for its products. The company adopted a new tagline -`Intel the computer inside’- in July 1991. Later, the company shortened the tagline to `Intel inside’. The tagline was accompanied by a new logo, in which the words `Intel inside’ appeared inside a circle. This design suggested that the brand had an implicit seal of approval.

Intel’s marketing efforts not only increased the demand for chips, they also increased the demand for PCs around the world. This was interesting considering that the demand for PCs was growing sharply in spite of increase in PC prices. The number of people who owned home-PCs was increasing even as the PC emerged as the most viable tool for business, education and entertainment. Intel was the catalyst in this PC revolution that swept the entire world.

In the same 1997, Intel started advertising on the Web and also encouraged PC makers to use this media. Intel also allowed them to use the company logo and messages in their advertisements. This helped the company convey to customers the important role its chips played in giving then a good internet browsing experience.

In 2001, in another innovation move, Intel set up the Intel inside -`R’ online net work. This was essentially a web-based tool that helped manage business transactions related to the company’s advertising program. This is the Intel inside-`R’ online network, which available 24 hours a day, provide services in languages other than English (Chinese and Japanese).

Intel’s consistent efforts towards providing customer satisfaction through quality services and its innovative efforts at component branding fetched in commensurate results.





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