When asked about his role as Global Brand Strategist at Intel Corporation, the world’s leading manufacturer of microprocessors, Bryan Deaner, MBA’93, cannot help but talk about the future. His job, after all, is to look ahead from 18 months to 2018 and decide, in conjunction with Intel’s other strategists and planners, how best to manage its $35 billion brand portfolio.
This farsightedness, however, is not unique to Deaner and those he works with. If anything, the company as a whole has its sights set squarely on the horizon, as evidenced by its latest marketing and branding campaign, which Deaner had a hand in crafting. Known as “Sponsors of Tomorrow,” it illustrates in a humorous, “geek-chic” way how Intel’s technological breakthroughs will impact everyone’s future.
“One of the things I enjoy most about working here is that we’re creating technology that moves society forward. We’re changing the course of human discovery and endeavor,” he says. “I know that sounds really high-minded, but when you consider the fields that depend on our technology to advance—health care, applied sciences, communications—we’re enabling fascinating leaps ahead.”
Even though Intel currently enjoys an 80 percent market share in the microchip business, Deaner’s job is not without its challenges. He notes that brand management is sometimes more about the shifting mood of the consumer landscape than the competition.
“A major challenge right now is apathy. In many cases the conversation has moved beyond the chip—how fast it is or how small we can make it. It’s now about the user experience,” he explains. “Figuring out how to remain part of that conversation is difficult, especially when you’re not a product for the end-user, like a laptop or phone, but rather something inside one of those products.”
Deaner, who majored in electrical engineering as an undergrad, credits the Owen School with giving him the marketing tools to make sure Intel’s voice is heard in spite of these challenges. “I often hearken back to my experience at Owen,” he says. “My engineering degree helps me understand the products we sell, but my marketing background is what translates that information for the wider audience.”