BEIJING: Lenovo has been transforming its brand from “trusted uncle” to something younger and hipper as its business has expanded beyond PCs to include tablets, smartphones and smart TVs, chief marketing officer Arthur Wei told the audience at our first ever Asia-Pacific In2 Summit, held in Beijing today. Wei explained that from 2005 to 2011, PCs accounted for 98 percent of the company’s revenues, but in recent years a broader portfolio of products, many of them focused on consumers rather than business users, caused the company to move away from its “Uncle Lenovo” image, which was indicative of strong trust but was also “middle-aged” and insufficiently “vigorous.” As a result, the company embraced fashion, film and sports to give itself a more youthful image. In Shanghai this year, for example, it partnered with designer Vivienne Tam on the introduction of her spring fashions, which were incorporated into the company’s mobile phone casings. It also sponsored one of China’s largest art competitions and implanted its tablets and smart TVs into Chinese movies, Wei said. The firm is also more active in social media, including an edgy and humorous campaign featuring chairman and CEO Yang Yuanqing. Wei advised asking for forgiveness than permission, particularly where senior executives are concerned. As a result, consumer surveys show that Lenovo is no longer a middle-aged uncle. Its new consumers view it as a 30-something brand, still trusted but much more youthful in its profile and outlook. Wei was introduced at the In2Summit by BlueFocus co-founder and CEO Oscar Zhao, who noted that the PR industry is proving too slow to adapt to external forces. "Our competitors are software companies like Adobe and Oracle; CRM companies," said Zhao. "One year ago we didn’t think of them. But there have been big changes." [caption id="attachment_2965" align="alignnone" width="600"]In2Summit: BlueFocus CEO Oscar Zhao In2Summit: BlueFocus CEO Oscar Zhao[/caption]