Lenovo, the largest computer manufacturer in China, succeeded for years by selling low-cost PC clones to consumers. With a growing consumer market and expected competition from abroad, Lenovo decided to reinvent itself. The company faced a problem: it did not know what their customers wanted, what their essence was or even what they looked like. Lenovo asked ZIBA to help Lenovo define its next-generation desktop PC, notebook and cell phone so it could better compete on meaning and value, rather than price. ZIBA’s extensive research resulted in a 36-month strategic product plan for each platform as well as a defined segment map (based on behavior, attitudes and values) to guide future development of appropriate products for target consumers. Product lines are now organized around the needs of specific “tech tribes.” This research also gave Lenovo a fundamental understanding of Western approaches to creativity and markets. Within months of the completion of this project, Lenovo cemented its commitment to high-value design by acquiring IBM’s PC (ThinkPad) business unit.
“This was an immersive design research experience, full of energy and creativity in plan and execution. Truly a prime example of researchers in one country effectively researching user aspiration for design in another.”
Jeremy Myerson, professor of design studies, Royal College of Art
Contact: Uani Tillmon
ZIBA Design, Inc
Credit: ZIBA Design, Inc. and Lenovo Group Limited (China)