When Lenovo bought the IBM personal computer division, few consumers in the U.S. had ever heard of the Chinese electronics maker. A decade later, Lenovo is a well-recognized brand, but one with a shifting business model. And in the post-PC era, it's ready for a facelift.
Lenovo today launches a new logo that can be dynamically changed - but only by its agencies and agreed-upon partners. The modernized moniker created by Saatchi, New York, has a lounging "e" and is outlined by a box that's meant to be used digitally. Creatives around the world will be able to change the box background to use a relevant scene, color or photograph, for example. The company will introduce the new look at its first Lenovo Tech World global conference in Beijing today.
"When we first started looking at it, it wasn't about just a change in typography or the look of the logo, " said Lenovo Chief Marketing Officer David Roman. "We asked 'If we really are a net-driven, customer-centric company, what should the logo look like?' We came up with the idea of a digital logo first … designed to be used on the internet and adaptable to context."
The logo update is symbolic of Lenovo's ongoing transformation. The company recently acquired IBM's server division and another well-known U.S. brand in Motorola's mobile division. While Lenovo has pushed along the IBM ThinkPad (now the Lenovo ThinkPad), it also developed its own innovations and brands, including IdeaPad tablets and Yoga convertibles. In smartphones, Lenovo uses its own brand along with the Motorola brand in the U.S. and globally; at Tech World, it will roll out the customizable Moto X brand in China.
Lenovo now depends less and less on revenue from its PC division, even thought that part of its business is still growing. Its fiscal fourth quarter ended in March showed that 63% of total revenue came from PC sales versus 83% during the same period the previous year.
Sales of PCs for the fourth quarter were $7.2 billion, up 11% year over year, and total annual revenue for the PC division was $33.4 billion, an increase of 5%. Lenovo's mobile sales of smartphones and tablets, aided by its Motorola acquisition and two quarters of additive sales (the company was acquired in October 2014), jumped 71% year over year to $9.1 billion, and represented 20% of total company sales.
Lenovo ranked as the No. 3 smartphone vendor in the most recent quarter (the first quarter of 2015), with a 5.6% market share, and No. 3 in tablets with a 5.3% share. Notably, Lenovo was the only tablet maker in the top four that noted year-over-year growth (23%), according to IDC.