Lenovo Case Competition

Lenovo recently sponsored a business plan competition for Kenan-Flagler students. The company charged the teams with writing a go-to-market plan for a pretty cool technology gadget. (I think I can say that without breaking the NDA I had to sign...)

Unlike the Innovation Challenge, the objective and course of action for this competition were both reasonably clear - which made for a nice change of pace and a much more realistic simulation of a corporate marketing project.

I was fortunate to join a stacked team:

Danvers - case competition legend, amazing public speaker, taskmaster.
Chanel - technology marketing powerhouse, mind-boggling productivity.
Chris - idea man, pitch artist, jack-of-all-trades.
Me - happy to help. happy to be there.

Truth be told, Danvers and Chanel - both 2nd years - did the lion's share of the work. Chris and I - both 1st years - spent much of the previous week cranking through various homework assignments and thus had to play more of a supportive role.

The teams gave pitches to several Lenovo executives last night at their RTP headquarters. In a strategic risk, we decided to deliver a somewhat unorthodox presentation. Essentially, Danvers led the charge by moderating a conversation among Chris, Chanel, and myself - with each of us playing the role of a market segment.

I wore a t-shirt and Chuck Taylors (everyone else was in a suit) and played the role of the "technology nerd", our chasm-crossing target segment. Chris played the "middle manager family man" and Chanel played the "on-the-go professional". In a very conversational style, we talked about how the product appealed to us and how Lenovo's marketing strategy captured our attention. The presentation was both fun and effective.

Turns out that our gambit paid off. We won the competition and took home the cash prize. As a result, I think that all of the gifts that Kelly and I give this Christmas will carry the text:

Merry Christmas! (Brought to you by Lenovo)