Lenovo’s ThinkPad X300 was never going to be able to top the MacBook Air in terms of brand recognition. The public awareness regarding Apple products, in general, has been astounding on both a domestic and international level. With that being said, there are several attributes of the ThinkPad which allow it to compete with the MacBook in a way that other competitors simply cannot. Addressing what these advantages are, who they appeal to in the consumer market, and how to best reach them provides a blueprint not only for this model but also for future Lenovo product as they continue to try and wrestle away some market share from Apple in particular.
First and foremost, it is important to recognize why a laptop user may prefer the Lenovo model as opposed to the Apple version. A 2008 study conducted by PC World found that, while each model had its own strengths and weaknesses, the Lenovo version was more functionable for creating and accessing external files in general (Haskin 1). This essentially means that with the Lenovo, a user will be able to bring in outside documents, software, and applications and use them in an efficient manner as compared to a consumer who is working with the MacBook Air. In addition to this, a 2008 article published in Wired Magazine also noted how the Lenovo version of this prototype was more of a computer while the MacBook was akin to “bling” (Beschizza 1). Ultimately this means that the Lenovo model is preferable because it offers a more inclusive package which allows users to not only surf the internet or check e-mails but also to install programs and software which are oftentimes deemed incompatible with Apple’s products. The Apple products that are currently being produced are essentially less adaptable to non-Apple software than any of their competitors and this is a position to consider when determining marketing strategies moving forward.
Having considered these strengths and selling points as related to the Lenovo ThinkPad X300, it is next important to look at what consumers this would appeal to. This computer is clearly designed to be functional with a variety of different software and this would suggest that potential consumers purchasing this product would thus be using it for purposes besides leisure. Business professionals, in particular, will want to find a laptop which they can take on the go without worrying about it breaking or being too heavy while still being capable of streamlining their corporate software and applications. In addition to this, the constantly growing demographic of college students in the domestic market would suggest that their need to find a computer that allows them to utilize a variety of different programs and software would push them towards selecting this product as opposed to Apple’s, regardless of its brand recognition among young adults. Lastly, older laptop users may find that the intuitive and adaptable nature of a Lenovo laptop is more akin to their needs than the MacBook which essentially requires users to be friendly with their own applications before being used.
With these things in mind, it is finally important to consider ways to market this product to the public. For business consumers, the best way to approach this would be through a process of reaching out to corporations and offering exclusive contracts which enable them to purchase large quantities of these products and bring them into the system so that all employees are required or at least encouraged to use them. For college students, the key to advertising will be on relying on the idea that these computers are adaptable and constantly able to change, just like the perspectives of people within this demographic. Lastly, in terms of reaching out to older computer users, Lenovo would be wise to create a sense of familiarity and accessibility in their computers so that the hassles of constantly learning new applications and software is a choice rather than an obligation, as seen with the MacBook. These advertising approaches would all allow for Lenovo to increase its own market reach and potentially create competition within MacBooks that could steal market share and let the company find new opportunities in different markets moving forward as a result.
Beschizza, Rob. The ThinkPad X300 vs. MacBook Air: Fight!. Wired, 2008. Accessed from https://www.wired.com/2008/02/the-thinkpad-x3/
Haskin, David. MacBook Air vs. ThinkPad X300 vs. Portege R500. PC World, 2008. Accessed from http://www.pcworld.com/article/147938/air_thinkpad_portege.html