Read the Label.

With the world pointing us to a greater consciousness, we are consistently urged to “read the label” and to better understand what is in our food, drink and even clothes.  Ingredients can be important in technology too. Ingredient brands are just that – ingredients – a smaller part of a larger whole.  Often the ingredient brand is unknown to the consumer.  They are virtually invisible, unless the ingredient has marketing muscle power behind it.  In the early 1990’s Intel launched it’s Intel Inside campaign, convincing computer makers that the value of the computers would be increased with the “Intel Inside” brand marketing campaign behind it (Graj, 2014).

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The Intel Inside campaign was the first trademarked in the computer processor segment (Intangible Business, 2005).  The move brought greater general awareness to the processor market as a whole and broader brand awareness to Intel (Intangible Business, 2005).  Business was up 63% after the first year of the marketing and advertising campaign, and in 2001 Intel was listed as the sixth most valuable brand (Intangible Business, 2005).  This is proof positive that ingredient-branding can and does work to improve even the ingredient brand.

Whether it’s Intel inside our devices, Smuckers Jam in our pop tarts or Downey in our Tide, we are ultra aware of the ingredients, of the brand within (, 2011).  Where it gets interesting is where the worlds collide, where we have technology leaping over into our clothes.  With the newly announced Intel acquisition of Basis Science (Hornyak, 2014).  Intel is branching out – moving into the very fabric of our lives – our clothes.  The chip maker is driving towards “wearable reference devices” (Hornyak, 2014).  The question is, do we want Intel in our clothes?

What’s in your Brand?

References: (2011, October 25).  Ingredient Brand.  Retrieved from:

Fraj, S. (2013, July 10).  Intel, Gore-Tex and Eastman: The provenance of Ingredient Branding.  Retrieved from:

Hornyak, T. (2014, March 25).  Intel acquires health band maker Basis Science. Retrieved from:

Intangible Business (2005, November).  Ingredient Branding Case Study Intel. Retrieved from:

Kepes, B. (2014, January 15).  The Ultimate Branding Coup? – Intel Inside Goes Cloud.  Retrieved from:

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10 Responses to Read the Label.

  1. Robert says:

    Very interesting blog Krista!
    I remember that Intel inside was, in the IT world, for me, a sort of trusting trademark that helped me appreciate quality in a piece of computer hardware. I’m not sure I want it in other parts of industry, like clothes and food however. I don’t know that, when I think of Intel inside, that I would think of food, clothing, or even soft drinks. I’m a bit of old school on this one, but I like to relate to brands inside of certain industries, and not have them blur the lines. I think they should stick to what they do best, but it’s about broadening ones market and increasing their bottom line. There is a risk with this, but expansion may be successful for some, if done right. For what it’s worth.

  2. Lorena Crowley says:


    What Intel was able to accomplish with “Intel Inside” represents what every component provider dreams of achieving. So many manufacturers of components that go into bigger products strive to stand out from others, and it’s quite difficult. In most cases, parts are just parts. Think of you car … there are maybe a few “brands” that make up your car. Of course, the overarching car brand. Maybe some Goodyear tires? A Bose sound system perhaps? But what about the rest? So many other components remain brandless, and we are none the wiser.

    I suppose Intel has in a sense earned the right to explore other industries. I imagine they will form a dedicated division to spearhead this venture into clothing. It’s likely only a matter of time until technology becomes so ubiquitous that it’s built into our apparel. If I’m going to be wearing a chip, might as well be Intel right? Nice post!

  3. Caroline Miller says:

    I find it interesting that Intel made the right decision to create brand awareness and an image around the company and not the actual products it sells that go into computers. Around the turn of the 21st century, B2B companies realized the benefits of branding their organizations and not their products (Baumgarth, 2010). Products change too rapidly, but companies do not, so there are benefits to branding the company instead of the products (Aspara & Tikanen, 2008). I wonder how many different components Intel sells and all of the different versions that were created from one year to another. Branding products that change so rapidly would not have been a good idea for Intel.

    And it is interesting that in the computer market, both companies benefitted for a co-label approach. PCs created by HP or Dell already had brand recognition, but these brands were elevated through the association with Intel. Brands that build a solid image and awareness can charge more money for their products (Ohnemus, 2009). Great move by all parties involved because they all improved their revenue stream, which at the end of the day is what they want.

    Company brands instead of product brands are becoming more important in this new era of globalization. In the 20th century it was all about the product brand, not the brand of the company that created those products (Olins, 2003). We know brands like Keebler Cookies, but not really the company that owns Keebler, which is the Kellogg Company. Or we know Cheerios, Green Giant and Betty Crocker, but we don’t really know the company that owns those brands, which is Kraft General Foods.

    It will be interesting to watch in the future as more companies brand the organization and not the products, if more companies will start to co-brand ventures creating a hybrid product that relies upon the brand image and equity of both companies and not just one.


    Aspara, J., & Tikanen, H. (2008). Significance of corporate brands for business-to-business companies. The Marketing Review, 8(1), 43–60.

    Baumgarth, C. (2010). Living the brand: Brand orientation in the business-to-business sector. European Journal of Marketing, 44(5), 653-671.

    Ohnemus, L. (2009). B2B branding: A financial burden for shareholders? Business Horizons, 52, 159–166.

    Olins, W. (2003). Wally Olins On Brand. London: Thames & Hudson.

    Caroline Miller

  4. Pete says:

    With my wife’s (whom she works for…) billion-dollar international company centered on all things I.T. and the real www — I see and hear about this every day. You mentioned her business in your blog. Whether at the grocery store or Target/WalMart, Americans buy the so-called ‘knock off’ brands because they like the brands but wish for cheaper prices. Like Up and Up (Target) and Suave (well known shampoos, etc.), they make their market share because the big dogs (name brands) have such a big lead.
    Absolutely top notch post, Thanks – pete

  5. Dante Allen says:

    Awesome post Krista. I have to say that I fall for ingredient marketing. I think I will buy just about anything with Febreeze in it. I don’t know why, but something about says it must be a good product if Febreeze is in it. I know my next car will have to have Apple’s Carplay too. It’s funny how a $200 phone may influence a $40,000 purchase. That’s power.

  6. Jared Maxwell says:

    Hi Krista,

    I loved your post and I first have to say that I personally know the creative designer that created the Intel Inside logo. His name is Steve, he rides a Harley, and he brings bagels to the agency staff every Thursday at the ad agency I work at. He also still works in advertising creating logos like the Intel one. I’d let you know his last name, but he’s rather shy and humble about creating that logo — even though it’s one of the more recognizable icons of the 21st century and late 20th century, he doesn’t like people to know that created it.

    Back to my response, I loved your take on ingredient brands and your post made me look at brands in a totally different way. Sometimes, it is a component of a brand that makes something great. I know for myself whenever I was in need of a PC purchase, I would look at what brands made the computer and not the computer brand itself. I never really cared if the computer was an HP or Sony, but the type of processor chip and graphics card that was in it. Nice work on pointed out something like this as it pertains to brands.


  7. Dawn says:

    Hi Krista,

    I look at labels all the time. In Dallas, people where labels but I can only wear what is good for me. For example, I wear Nike road racing shorts- not trainers, not mid length, because I do not chaff- they have to say road racers or it is a not a purchase. These shorts are $10.00 to $15.00 more than other shorts. Back on topic, Intel promoted computers have gotten my interest for years now. Great post!

  8. Michelle Dennison says:

    I remember computer shopping with my parents and in-laws and unless the Intel sticker was on the machine, they weren’t even interested in buying it. A few years later when competitors began placing their branding stickers on the PCs, we asked sales people what the true difference was between Intel and the others and even though they said nothing short of the name, we still paid for the Intel. Power of branding.

  9. Jason says:

    This is a really interesting post. Intel did a great job of creating a need, where there was not one before. Prior to that campaign, people did not care about what processor was in their computer. Now, well lets just say that the intel sticker is on the laptop I am typing on right now. It reminds me of a Hanes campaign that was promoting the “lay-flat” collar. The messaging talked about “bacon neck” when the collar of the undershirt bunches up like cooked bacon. This was never a concern of mine prior to seeing this commercial, but once they gave it a name, it created an insecurity, and a need.

  10. Fiona Chan says:

    Krista, I found your topic very interesting too! After reading your post, I keep thinking about your question: What is in your brand? There are so many of these “labels” around us that we don’t even pay attention to. I would think “Android” is also a perfect fit for this one though it is not a real product. Thanks for sharing!