Qualcomm steps up chip branding campaign, plans TV ad

Tue Apr 30, 2013 2:55pm EDT

By Noel Randewich
    SANTA CLARA, California, April 30 (Reuters) - Qualcomm Inc
 is stepping up its Snapdragon chip branding campaign,
including a commercial for movie theaters and television, in a
bid to build customer loyalty in an increasingly competitive
smartphone industry.
    Chief Marketing Officer Anand Chandrasekher showed analysts
a commercial playing in US theaters and said it would also be
rolled out in other countries, including China. Qualcomm plans
to air it on national TV within the next couple of months.
    "We're trying to build an emotional bond with our
customers," Chandrasekher said.
    San Diego-based Qualcomm is benefiting from strong demand
for mobile devices and a shift by network operators worldwide to
a high-speed wireless technology known as long-term evolution
(LTE), where the chipmaker is ahead of rivals. Its Snapdragon
processors are widely used as the brain in tablets and
smartphones.
    But last week Qualcomm forecast earnings below expectations
as competition in smartphones intensifies and shifts toward
Asia. 
    Since the 1990s, Qualcomm has been a major player in the
mobile chip industry but like most electronics component makers,
branding has been a low priority during most of that time.
    As a rule, it's seen as a good idea to add extra branding to
products like smartphones only when the additional brand
strongly conveys a quality that the handset maker's own brand
lacks, industry experts say.
    Intel's "Intel Inside" ad campaign has been a notable
exception and the top chipmaker has extended it from personal
computers to the handful of smartphones in Europe, Asia and
Africa made with its processors.
    "It's not our intention to compete with our customers' or
partners' brands. ... Our brand should be accretive to big
brands, not dilutive," Chandrasekher said.  
    Last year, Qualcomm began to step up its branding efforts,
targeting its ads at technology enthusiasts through social media
and other online efforts.
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