BEIJING Olympic Marketing Strategy for Lenovo Enterprise
Published: 26th February 2010
Kotler, Philip, Keller and Lane (2005) describes marketing as a set of processes that are undertaken by an organization in order to create, communicate and add value to the products that the organization deals with The aim of marketing is to create awareness and a relationship to the customers in a manner that will be beneficial to the organization and the stakeholders. Marketing do exist as an activity of an organization, and it is ever changing in accordance to new trends and technology in the field. As Kotler, Philip, Keller and Lane (2005) notes, in style marketing represents the way the society develops, and it is dynamic as it is ever going through changes. It offers new products and services on the customers using new techniques and communication media. Marketing business is big and always growing.
The political policies that support businesses sponsor Beijing Olympic Game
The political policies that support businesses sponsor in Beijing Olympic games in china are supposed not interfere with the games. Politics, business are supposed to compliment each other but not to impede each other. However, the 2008 September Olympic Games is bound to elicit a lot of pressure and controversies on the political arena regarding the Chinese human rights records and political system. (Plummer, 2008)
According to human rights watch, it has argued Olympic sponsors to tackle human rights abuses which are currently taking place in Beijing Games, through targeting what can be achieved. The steps that Human Rights are proposing are in deed in line with the sponsors 's support and also with the Olympic Charter as well as with corporate social responsibility of companies which to sponsor the Olympics. In addition to that, Microsoft and NBC companies which are also included in sponsoring the Olympic Games are also supposed to follow the policies of sponsoring the games which as it has been stated is to avoid political interference but campaigning for achievable human rights.
Major global sporting events such as Olympic Games present companies with opportune moment for companies to exploit and market their products. And the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games is not different. This Olympic Games has offered a number of companies' opportunities to market their products. Among these companies is the Levono Company which is a top hi-technology company in China. The company is involved in manufacturing different technological products and it has a sponsorship deal with the IOC to equip Olympic venues with its equipments. (Quelch, 2008)
Getting a marketing deal or sponsorship at the Olympic Games is normally a dream come true for any marketer. However, given the extensive protest seen global against the Chinese government, companies are bound to be faced with different and new challenges brought about in Beijing, top on these challenges include:
1. Political demands put at the Chinese administration will create challenge for companies sponsoring the Olympic Games which do not wish to be linked with the political controversy.
2. Considering that Chinese market is the biggest globally, it becomes apparent that no company will probably boycott the games.
3. A number of companies will take a dual marketing method where they will invoke China specific marketing campaigns within the country and invoke less China specific message outside the country.
4. The usually high advertising boost associated with Olympics advertisements may be low as companies reduced their marketing in Olympic-associated brands.
The IOC has continued to argue companies and other stakeholders that the Olympic Games and aspirations as well as attainments of all athletes should not involve politics. Though it seems that the Chinese administration intends to use the games to improve its political image, the IOC do not want a repeat of what happened in Moscow when a number of companies and athletes boycotting Olympics. (Quelch, 2008)
More so, all companies which are involved in the Olympic Games are supposed to not to uphold policies which conserve the environment t and promote sportsmanship. The games are not supposed to be used as a political arena to foster political interests or ideologies. This message is according to the International Olympic committee (IOC)
As noted by Plummer, (2008) those organizations which honestly align themselves with the Olympic principles ought to go ahead and support or sponsor the Olympic games and gain from the truth that their products will be at the center stage of the global event for a period of three weeks. Supporting and sponsoring the Olympic Games does not imply that a company is supporting the Chinese political ideologies, but, shunning sponsoring the games implies that a company is opposing the Olympic sprit. It will be hypocrisy for a company to pull out of the sponsorship of the games or supporting the games and yet, the companies continue to do business with or within China. Putting in mind that there are clear policies guiding sponsorship deals, there is no point of the games to pull out.
The relationships between Lenovo Enterprise and Beijing Olympic Game that includes some successful business activities through utilizing Beijing Olympic Game
Basically, it has been a golden chance for marketing the Levono products on a global event such as the Beijing Olympics. This opportunity will give the company a chance to show case its products and easily market its wide range product line. At the same time the company will have a chance to build its international team as well as infuse fresh passion and vigor into its brand image and its corporate culture. (Quelch, 2008)
The company is a member of the IOC and it has a duty to provide computing technology equipments during the event provide services and support in terms of computer technology for period of five years. During this period, the company will offer desktops, notebooks printers and other computing technologies. In addition the company will also fund and support the Beijing Olympics Games just as it sponsored the Turin Olympic winter games. Looking at it from a business viewpoint, this partnership will offer the company a lot of opportunities to expand its market share both locally in china and internationally in other countries.
The Olympic Partner (TOP) program which Levono has entered with the IOC was started in 1985 and it is the biggest level of sponsorship globally. Lenovo being an outstanding company in China technology industry, its products together with services enjoy widespread approval and high status. The partnership with the IOC will further improve the image of the company and increase its market share. (Levono company, 2008)
The steps of Olympic marketing strategy for Lenovo that help the company achieve their sales and profit objectives
Levono Company a personal computer manufacturer company started working and getting prepared for Olympic Games as early as 2004, when the company publicized its sponsorship deal. Levono has a number of staff working on this project. The project will see the company's number of products, ranging from printers to servers and notebooks.
Everything aspect from collecting and keeping participant's information to showing the scores, and all activities of Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG), The company plans to use more than 20,000 products at the Olympic games. (Levono company, 2008)
Lenovo Company has employed the latest technology in their technology revolution, the versatility and diversity of Lenovo products is unequalled, having a big range of product solution which spans from desktops to high technology think pads. Lenovo Company also is a leader in the field of video screen technology as shown when it is installing giant video screens in the Beijing Olympic stadium. The reputation and reliability of the company's products has made it possible for the company to market its products to a wide range of Beijing venues and events (Levono company,2008))
Lenovo Company is a market leader particularly in the area of computer and computing devices and other technological related equipments a. The company's consumer PC technology, servers, notebooks, ThinkPad can be found installed in many venues which the Olympic games are going to take place. Lenovo is currently a powerful computer company in china though it is trying to go global; it has a good reputation of high quality computing products, going by the quality of products it offers. The company has grown substantially in the recent years going inline with product mix with more than 2000 different types of products. (Levono company, 2008)
Personnel training and preparation
In preparation for the Beijing Olympic, the company has increased it technical staff in terms of numbers and enhanced their training. According to the company records, more than 300 engineers of the company had to undergo a wide-ranging technology rehearsal for three days in the month of June in what the company terms as "most grueling test in preparation for the Beijing Olympics beginning in August" (Levono company, 2008)
In another communication regarding the company marketing strategy for the Beijing Olympics, the company further disclosed that, there will be another technical rehearsal in the month of July to stimulate the company technical staff to the event. The company will test its computing equipments that are to be used in the Olympic Games in every venue of where the equipments are placed. According to one of the top marketing executive of Lenovo Alice Li, who is the vice president of the Olympic marketing committee, the technicians will be testing hit on switches on all the computing equipments and testing anything which could go wrong during the event. In order to improve its products in readiness for the Beijing Olympics, the company reported in June that over 20,000 pieces of different equipments had been tested over the last one year and the testing was supposed to be over by July. (Marketing media, 2008)
Evaluate Lenovo Enterprises' business activities
Lenovo which is the fourth biggest PCs manufacturer globally and the only Chinese company sponsoring the Olympic Games have invested in the games a lot of money. According to the records the company is going to spend about $ 100 millions. Levono paid millions of dollars to sponsor the Olympic torch relay. The company sponsorship is likely to increase its sales within the Chinese market but it may reduce its market share in foreign countries as consumers may boycott its products. (Marketing media, 2008)
Different equipments to be used in the Beijing 2008 Olympics were chosen to complement different sporting venues; this is according to the company information. For instance, the ThinkCentre M55e computing device which is able to function in damp surroundings has been thoroughly tested at in different conditions some up to 95% humidity for example in Beijing national aquatics centre to make sure that the equipments works perfectly. (Levono, 2006)
In addition, As a marketing strategy for the Beijing Olympics, the company is also training about 570 engineers to run and troubleshoot all the desktops and notebooks to be used in the games. The engineers are initially trained in a setup similar to classroom and then given mock assignments. The Beijing organizing committee will as well conduct extra training classes with engineering groups from other Olympic partners; this is according to the company information. (Marketing media, 2008)
Increase in distribution channels and market share
Lenovo Company plans to increase its retail distribution profile in Hong Kong and Thailand in preparation to the Beijing Olympic Games. This will boost the present "exclusive stations" and its presence in these markets four times. (Hughes, 2005)
The company as well intends to enhance its competitiveness of its personal computers and improve its global supply distribution channels through adding more international manufacturing plants in Mexico and also India. This is according to How Sin a top executive director in the company concerned with business relationship in Asian countries. The company ThinkPad and notebooks are doing well in these markets. However, the branded computes from the company are their number one selling item.
As part of its marketing strategy in Thailand, the company has undertaken to sponsor two Thais who are taking part in the Beijing Olympic Games. (Quelch, 2008)
Marketing is very important for any company to success in this current world where business competition has moved to new heights. Olympic Games presents the best chance for any company to show case its products and tap on new markets, and expand its market share. However, the coming Beijing Olympic Games in china have present many companies with a number of challenges due to the human rights record of china and the political situation of the country. Levono company, the leading technological company I china has a sponsoring deal with the IOC and the deal provides the company with a chance to expand its market share within the Chinese market and improve its image globally. The company has undertaken different marketing strategies to achieve its goals during the sponsorship.
Levono company: (2008): about the company; available at: http://www.lenovo.com/lenovo/us/en/
Hughes, M. (2005): Buzz marketing: Get People to Talk about Your Stuff, Penguin/Portfolio; New York.
Human rights (2008):Olympic Corporate Sponsors: Rhetoric and Reality regrieved from www.hrw.org
Kilter, P (1996): Principles of Marketing: Stages of customer relationships. 4th European Edition Prentice Hall Harlow (UK)
Kotler, Philip, Keller and Lane (2005): Marketing Management, Prentice Hall
Levono (2006) CEO's interview; Annul Report :Available online at: www.p.c.ibm.com/ww/lenovo/pdf/03 04/F105.pdf
Marketing media (2008): Should business sponsors shun the Beijing Olympics? Business retrieved from: www.machesterreveningnews.co.ke
NYTimes.com (2008): The 2008 Olympics:www.nytimes.com
Plummer, S (2008) Olympic Games in Beijing will expose China; Business telegraphy avaialble online: at www.telegraphy.co.ke (14/2/2008)
Quelch, J (2008): The Marketing Challenges of the China Olympics: Harvard Business school; available online at: www.hbswk.edu/
Waltham, T (2007): Lenovo to up Beijing Olympics branding; Bangkok Post