Intel Inside & Storytelling

Remember Intel Inside? Back in the day, when the first personal computers were being marketed, there was the little icon sticker, now iconic, on the screen that said, “Intel Inside.”

No consumer really knew what the heck that meant, but it sure as heck was a status symbol and every computer had to have it to work. Call that absolutely smart branding.

In Chief Content Officer, a supplement in B-to-B Magazine, Joe Pulizzi spoke with Pam Didner, Intel’s global integrated marketing manager. I am intrigued by several statements Pam made in this piece, and I’d like to share with you:

“Content marketing is everything we do on the B2B front.”  When it comes to consumers, Intel calls it “experience marketing — putting customers in the center and telling a story to which customers can connect emotionally.”

Think a minute. Intel is all about the insides of processors, computer chips, hardware components and other gizmos and widgets (that’s not a side-bar blogging app!). Consumers could care less, but the Fortune company has to make consumers care, and they do it by storytelling.

Case in point, here’s what Pam also said:

“Intel is an amazing brand. Our hero product, the microprocessor, presents us with a marketing challenge because our consumers cannot see it, smell it or touch it. We need to continue to find innovative ways to build brand relevance with consumers.”

(I am just sayin’ right now #storytelling has taken on new leafs; it is a hot trending topic right now on the interwebz…have you seen it on all the blogs again?)

Think 2. Could you imagine being on a marketing or PR team for a company that has a “hero product” no one can get sensitized to? By the way, I love that term, “hero product.” What that requires is the utmost in creativity and innovation.

Here’s one cool way Intel has adopted that innovative spirit:

The Museum of Me uses Facebook photos and video to create a museum or art gallery all about you/me. In its test pilot in late May, there were 36 “likes” in five minutes of launch. After five days, there were 1 million hits, and Intel’s global marketing/products teams had no idea it would take the world by storm.

How can we adopt some of Intel’s creativity and innovation into our own business objectives?

In a service business like many of us have, we have a marketing challenge much like Intel; our “hero product” happens to be our intellect and creative deliverables. No one can touch that, taste it or squeeze it (think Charmin) prior to purchase.

We have to be creative in how we set up our brand and show our “Intel Inside” to make customers’ lives improve. I’ll offer a few ways I think that’s possible, and then perhaps you might add yours:

  • Blog creatively with new and fresh ideas. There is so much inspiration you can take from reading anything and everything. In fact, you need a pen and paper to jot down ideas as you’re speaking with people because if you open your mind, they will come fast and furious; promise.
  • Design yourself and company with pizzazz. Yes, there are templates galore available to fashion into a blog or website, but go the extra mile and have someone tweak and customize it to make it yours.
  • Always be smart when posting anything anywhere. If your barrier goes down and you cut loose, know that your image is at risk. It’s easy to do — let down the walls as you feel so comfortable and forget the whole world is watching.

None of these thoughts are fresh or innovative, but when I put them side by side to Intel’s challenge with its hero product, it makes sense to me to reiterate the basics lest we forget our boundaries and get sloppy along the way.

What’s your story?