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As one of the best examples of a successful branding effort, Intel created awareness and familiarity with its “Intel Inside” slogan, alerting business customers and consumers alike that the company offered high quality computer chips to support various brands of computers. But as Intel sought to gain recognition for the other projects that it can support, it had become something of a victim of its own success. Everyone knew the “Intel Inside” phrase, leading to a common, and incorrect, assumption that chips were all that the company produced.

Lo-res_162487076-STherefore, its latest branding efforts target potential business partners in diverse industry sectors, far beyond the computer manufacturers with which it has long collaborated. For example, in partnership with Lady Gaga—a brand unto herself, who also heads the House of Gaga creative agency—Intel helped create a virtual skin that the entertainer “wore” during her tribute to David Bowie at the Grammys. The projection onto Gaga’s face made it appear as if her makeup were changing in real time. The effect would have been impossible without Intel’s expertise, a capability that Intel is promoting widely among its other business customers as an example of what it can do.

The promotions generally are featured in short videos that are available through Intel’s online publication, so that it can offer them up readily to potential partners. The videos highlight collaborations and advances in various fields, including fashion, science, and medicine. For example, one video describes how a scientist investigating declining bee populations relied on Intel’s microcomputing technology to create tiny “backpacks” that could track the bees’ movement. Another video shows the creation of a dress decorated by mechanical butterflies that flutter away and return as the wearer moves, prompted by Intel technology.

But the examples are not all about bugs. They also feature life-changing tools, such as a low cost Braille printer that relies on an Intel chip and a mom who created a glove that could provide advance warning when her epileptic son was about to suffer a seizure.

In conjunction with these targeted promotions, Intel has revised its overall branding strategy. Rather than just “Intel Inside,” the tagline on all its advertising now encourages customers—whether business partners or consumers—to “experience what’s inside.” Rather than a high quality chip, Intel wants to be know for the cool stuff that its technology and expertise can produce.

Discussion Question:

  1. How does Intel integrate its communications to its various audiences?

Source: Rob Walker, “Intel Tells Stories that Go Beyond Chips,” The New York Times, June 26, 2016

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