If somebody at Intel should today “deserve a hefty bonus” how Ben Kepes puts it in his most recent article in Forbes, also some others at Intel should be felicitated to have made some very clever branding decisions in the past. Intel’s development of becoming one of the world’s most valuable brands – based on the Ranking « Best Global Brands 2013 » from Interbrand the Brand Value of Intel amounts to 37 Billions US$ being the 8th most valuable brand in the world; five billions more valuable than for example the German luxury car brands Mercedes-Benz and BMW and some nine Billions more valuable than the Disney brand – shows what can be achieved through leading-edge brand management. As a B2B company this is a truly outstanding achievement.
Intel’s way of becoming a brand and reputation guided company where strategic brand management is considered crucial for sustainable business success started way back in 1991 when Intel at first had to learn it the hard way. In spring 1991 Intel lost a trademark case against AMD who was allowed by the court to use the „386“ name in a new microprocessor. In November 1991 Intel launched its „Intel Inside“ campaign. In my opinion the decisive positioning steps bringing Intel today in the position to be able to brand the “cloud technology” can be summarized by the following five brand management decisions; 1. Manufacturer reference through Ingredient Branding, 2. Quality Guarantee through Co-Branding, 3. Guarantee of an exclusive product performance use, 4. Guarantee of an exclusive emotional benefit and 5. becoming a carrier of lifestyle (also thanks to the partnership with Steve Jobs and Apple).
The three most crucial persons at Intel who made this 23 years branding excellence success story possible where/are; Andy Grow launching in 1991 the “Intel Inside” branding campaign and in 2006 Paul Otellini “Leap ahead” strategy ensuring that Marketing becomes as important as engineering and hirering former Samsung’s CMO Kim whose mantra “we have to be aware and tell the world that we are not just making silicon but we help people’s life to improve” was inserted into the entire Intel organization.
Intel is truly a best practice example that shows how branding excellence leads to increased brand equity leading to successful growth and profitability and ultimately to company value.