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Chinese PC giant sets new benchmark in branding banality

Legend + Latin = Meaningless Moniker

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That new Lenovo logo in full

Well, the threat of immediate execution for anyone even thinking about spreading SARS has seemingly not been enough to keep Chinese rebranding operatives from gathering in distinctly unhealthy clusters around Powerpoint presentations and flip-charts.

Proof of this determination to battle on regardless comes with the news that "China's largest PC manufacturer, Legend Group Limited ('Legend') has introduced a new brand name and logo to position and differentiate its expanding Overseas Business Development department (OBD) from its motherboard business unit, QDI."

Yup, as of right now Legend's OBD will be known as Lenovo, a title which is the bastard offspring of an unholy mating of "legend" and "novo" - you know, as in the Latin "novo" meaning "innovation and novelty".

Yang Yuanqing, President & CEO of Legend ,said: "Legend's branding is one of its most valuable assets on which its strength lies. In view of our rapid expansion in recent years, we need a logo that fully captures Legend's business diversification and its goal of internationalisation. On our way to become internationalised, we need to have an English brand name that can be used unrestrictedly in markets worldwide in the first place."

Alright, fair enough. Mr Yuanqing has wisely avoided the temptation to wax lyrical about the rebrand while members of the firm's Strategy Boutique play sitars in the background, but what does Lenovo actually mean?

Well, nothing at all really - despite the stab at Latin heritage. Which may not be a bad move. We seem to recall a fledgling Japanese electronics firm electing a name on the grounds that they liked the phrase "The Sonny Boys". This was subsequently reduced to the bland and meaningless Sony. Thus handicapped, the company went on to take over the entire world. ®

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