Last semester, when Thunderbird hosted Mr. Kevin Sellers, the Vice President of Advertising and Digital Marketing for Intel Corporation, his Global Issues speakers session received a massive turnout. So much so that Mr. Sellers agreed to return once more, this time his audience consisting primarily of the Brand Management class, TMA and other keen students.
With the challenges that Intel has faced with its product line and varying brand messages from the past few decades, Mr. Sellers faced a daunting task when he took over as VP at Intel. While Intel bears a a strong brand presence worldwide, it has been declining in the US. The unique challenge for companies such as Intel is they market to end consumer to drive sales from their primary targets i.e. PC makers and the like.
Mr. Sellers focused on how to position the best brands, which included 4 key takeaways: (1) Simple (2) Unique & differentiated (3) Emotional connection (4) A clear call to action. Using examples of pure branding campaigns such as Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches & Chrysler’s Imported From Detroit campaign, Mr. Sellers dived into what makes it hard to stay true to these 4 guidelines. Talking about his job as a CMO, he explained why it is his job to make sure that the brand he is in charge of has tone and personality. Another key branding practice he emphasized is the need to make the message simple and repeated.
Coming to Intel’s branding exercise, Mr. Sellers broke it into one message – Look Inside – with 3 forms: Look Inside You, Look Inside, Products and Look Inside Intel. This message is beautifully simple in that one message is used to connect with consumers, businesses, employees and the individual alike.
Mr. Sellers’ strongest point was the need to build a brand that is powerful and stands for something, but all the while remembering that a brand / marketing alone cannot sustain a company – the products have to be equally compelling as the message. Just like the quote from Peter Drucker… “Business has only two functions — marketing and innovation”.