HCL launches Rs50 crore re-branding move with 'ME'

Computer manufacturer HCL Infosystems Ltd on Thursday re-branded its entire range of laptops and netbooks as 'ME', saying it would invest up to Rs50 crore in the next two to three years around the re-branding exercise.

The ME brand will immediately replace the earlier 'MiLeap' series of portable products. "The new HCL ME campaign has been launched keeping in mind the requirements of today's customers who are on the move and seek seamless connectivity to the virtual world," HCL Infosystems chairman and chief executive Ajai Chowdhry said in New Delhi.

With this re-launch, the company aims to raise its market share in the segment to 20 per cent from the present seven per cent. The new marketing campaign for 'ME' is aimed at establishing a youthful and vibrant image of the brand and to ensure a stronger connect with 'GenNext' consumers.

All HCL Digilife stores and retail outlets will be re-branded as part of the strategy, Chowdhry announced at a glittering function. "We are repositioning our brand to target the youth, who are the primary consumers as far as the laptop category is concerned. 'ME' is young and is feature-rich to cater to the demands, he said.

The new brand ME apparently stands for 'mobile excitement', though nobody would guess it  - unlike car or FMCG manufacturers who put serious thought into their brand names, IT hardware marketers seem to find arcane symbols on the 'R2D2' model more impressive.

The new range comprises seven models, priced between Rs19,000 and Rs65,000. Talking about the demand, Chowdhry said, "The market has been flat but we have seen it picking up sequentially over the last two quarters, and expect the coming quarters to do well."