Becoming Mr Cool

Intel’s CEO may be on to something when he says Intel needs to get its ‘coolness’ back.The world’s largest advertising agency, WPP, has just released its top brands list and Intel, which was in the top 25 seven years ago, has slipped to No.86.

Now everyone’s sceptical about how brand value is assessed. WPP’s own description of its methodology is:

‘We conduct ongoing, in-depth quantitative consumer research with more than 150,000 consumers annually, across more than 30 countries, to assess consumer attitudes about, and relationships with, over 10,000 brands. Our database includes information from over two million consumers. It reveals the power of the brand in the mind of the consumer that creates predisposition to buy and, most importantly, validates a positive correlation with better sales performance.’

Bollox? Probably.

Top dog in the brand business is Google, followed by Apple, IBM, Microsoft, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Visa, AT&T, Marlboro and Amazon, showing  that the the Yanks sure know how to promote their brands.

Last week Intel took the axe to its marketing department to assist in regaining coolness.

Trouble is that Intel’s CEO, a manufacturing guy, does not personify anyone’s idea of Mr Cool.



  1. Yes you’re right, Siverman, the clever thing about Intel Inside was that it persuaded people that the brand of processor was important. That perception was revolutionary when Grove introduced it, and now it can be seen as a temporary aberration. But a very lucrative aberration for Intel.

  2. For a brand to be popular people have to interact with it. People interact with Google a lot. Popular food brands obviously people interact with also.

    AnotherDavid is correct. Nobody cares what processor is inside anymore. It has lost bragging value.

  3. Samsung is 29th in the WPP list, Terry, with a ‘brand value’ of $26 billion.

  4. The absence of Samsung in the list shows how much of a guide it is to true brand value. And they say the IoT is bollox!

  5. Oh yes – the 432 was a great hardware design. I did try to get a free sample off of Intel to use in an early digital music synth I was designing but they wouldn’t oblige.

  6. Oh yes Mike, absolutely spot on. Years ago Intel used to be so much cooler and ballsier and interesting. Back in 1975 when Intel had annual revenues of $130m and its survival was by no means assured, it embarked on a six year development programme which brought forth the 432 micromainframe. I went to an Intel press lunch where all the journos were asking Gordon Moore about the 432 and about nothing much else. Moore in that laconic way of his said they’d looked up the potential customers for it and found they could be counted on the fingers of one hand. Yet they’d worked on it for six years! Massive publicity though, remembered with awe to this day and Intel learnt a heck of a lot from doing it.

  7. Well to give them a little free advice, start addressing the supercomputer and human brain projects which has been left to IBM and AMD processor for years.

    You don’t sell that many processors but the PR can be very good indeed.

  8. Yes indeed, AnotherDavid, everyone was amazed when Andy Grove announced ‘Intel Inside’. Their PR agency was astonished to be told their top target publication was Marie Claire. But it worked magnificently. For the first time a chip company became a worldwide brand. Clearly it’s been slipping recently. Maybe international government investigations and dirty tricks revelations have tarnished the image. Maybe it’s just that it’s the software guys who are sexy these days. A year or two back I was in the front bar of a Palo Alto watering hole and I pointed out to my companion that all the girls were in the back bar. He said the hardware guys drink in the front bar, the software guys in the back bar. ‘Nuff said.

  9. I guess “Intel inside” didn’t work very well then!
    Most PCs are fast enough (and have been for a while) or limited by what Microsoft force onto peoples desktop.
    As for tablets and smartphones, most people don’t care if they have an ARM or Intel processor inside. They only care if it is fast enough or the battery lasts long enough, or has the right logo on the back of it, or a combination of those. They certainly don’t care if it’s a 14nm Intel or 20nm TSMC processor.
    Tough one for a marketing department at Intel, especially one with less and less people in it.

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