Industry Case Study



The major laptop brands use a variety of techniques in their marketing campaigns for different series. Samsung, once a source of budget laptops, now emphasizes sheer power and performance. Microsoft relies on its interconnection with Windows to sell itself as a basic productivity companion. Lenovo has divided its series by targeted demographic and effectively succeeds in reaching out to each one. HP’s approach of premium PCs for the casual user succeeds with its airy minimalism. At Dell, a core theme of customizability carries through its marketing approach.

Samsung Emphasizes Cutting Edge Technology and Performance for Everyone

  • Samsung’s approach appears to be the democratization of powerful technology, particularly for its Galaxy Book flagship series.
  • For its external advertisements, Samsung shifted from a stark, mostly-black and white campaign emphasizing the Galaxy Book’s status as “a premium Windows 2-in-1” offering (in 2017) to a much more graphically-captivating campaign featuring powerful contrasts with the Galaxy Book at the center.
  • On its website, Samsung’s Galaxy Book is featured on both its “Notebooks” page and its “All Windows Laptops” page. The same high-contrast advertisements are featured on the “Notebooks” page along with the message “A Galaxy Book for everyone”, revealing that Samsung is both emphasizing performance and accessibility to consumers who are seeking an all-purpose machine.
  • This could be a continuation of Samsung’s 2011 strategy to move away from its foundation as a producer of economy notebooks for everyone to premium notebooks for everyone, as discussed in this 2012 report for context.

Microsoft Emphasizes Productivity

  • Microsoft’s current flagship laptop series include the Surface Laptop 3 and the Surface Book 3. Microsoft’s approach for external media with these lines has been to produce a series of ads using “safe”, low-key colors (such as a near-pastel blue and a light gray).
  • This approach is designed to appeal to professionals, office workers and office managers, and artists rather than high-performance multimedia users as it somewhat flatly emphasizes productive functionality without flash.
  • On its website, Microsoft sells the laptops of numerous companies as they are compatible with its Windows operating system. Its own products are not highlighted in any special way over these competing laptops.
  • Clicking through on the website to one of the available models goes directly into a straightforward, no-frills customization page with no advertisements in site.
  • Microsoft’s ubiquitous presence via Windows has granted it substantial market share due to the perception that it has the best optimization for Windows and the associated Office Suite. As a result, Microsoft’s approach is based on its built-in relationship with productivity and emphasizing that. This perception amongst consumers is reflected in the following 2017 graph:

leading laptop 2017

Lenovo Aims for Engaging Functionality for Everyone

  • Among Lenovo’s flagship series is the Yoga, Legion, and the ThinkBook. The external ads for the Yoga are bright and colorful, offering viewers to engage with what they are looking at.
  • The ads tout the Yoga as an ally in productivity and style, enabling professionals in any field to accomplish what they’d like to accomplish while using a device with a thematically-pleasing design and style that emphasizes flexibility.
  • The marketing for the Legion series is designed for gamers and features bold colors and game-related media that thematically engages gamers with a promise of performance.
  • On its website, Lenovo’s simple message at the top of the screen invites users to “Find a laptop that’s perfect for you”.
  • This approach appears to be a continuation of Lenovo’s marketing strategy to produce a laptop for every major demographic and make its marketing campaign as targeted and engaging as possible.

HP Appeals to Casual Power Seekers

  • Among HP’s primary flagship laptop series is the Spectre. In external campaigns, HP touts Spectre using very soft and safe colors (including a light blue on a light blue background with white text).
  • The ads for the Spectre series emphasize how the machine is “small and light” by using colors that are similar to sky and clouds. This lightness is grounded through the inclusion of “Intel Core i7”.
  • On its website, the Spectre is shown in use in a neutral, relaxed setting with the offer of “Astounding power” and “Exceptional endurance”. Like Samsung, HP is seeking to offer democratized performance, but it is doing so from an approach that minimizes the performance and emphasizes accessibility.
  • HP’s approach is thus to offer premium PCs for casual consumers in any demographic.

Dell Leaves it to the Consumer to Imagine

  • Dell’s laptop series include the Inspiron, XPS, and Alienware. The Inspiron’s external advertisement campaign appears to be neutral in color with gray-on-gray color schemes accented by the colorful screen of the Inspiron (showing a screensaver-type image).
  • With its invitation to “Picture the possibilities“, Dell’s Inspiron rides on its series’s theme of serving as a blank slate ready to absorb and prompt inspiration in consumers.
  • On its website, Dell offers the Inspiron as an all-purpose connectivity device while the XPS is shown in slightly more aggressive colors and invites users to “unleash your creativity”. The Alienware gaming laptop invites users to “Become a legend”. The overall theme of this page is to let consumers choose what direction they want to go, thus empowering them with customizability.
  • Dell was one of the first companies to offer customization in its laptops and it is playing this theme forward with its marketing campaign.
Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at Simple Manifestation with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.


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