Since buying the Thinkpad line of products from IBM a few years ago, Lenovo has been busy transitioning the product line branding.

The Same Product, Different Stickers blog post on Lenovo blogs provides an interesting insight into the transition process from a product badging viewpoint.

The lessons are:

Lately I have noticed how the mantra of “consistency is king” has become a blind rule to be followed without thought; and in cases of transition, something to be executed instantaneously.

Remember: your brand is more than just your logo. The utter visual consistency of surface elements is relatively meaningless if you do not act consistently with your promises. Consistency is more about having a predictable personality. Lenovo has been able to maintain this consistency of the Thinkpad brand personality by buying more than just the name from IBM. They bought the business processes and the people as well.

Lenovo is doing a gradual logo/badge transition at the same time as educating their market segments about who they are. By listening and checking in with their market segments, they can make allowances for the different needs of these segments.

They have set aside several years to complete the transition. This is important to give their customers (and no doubt their people) to get used to the change. An overnight rebadging of everything would have sown confusion and erode the goodwill vested in the Thinkpad brand.