Fill in all the gaps, then press "Check" to check your answers.
intel.jpgMain Idea Passage B

For each of the following passages, try to find the main idea. Read the topic sentences of each paragraph and paraphrase them. Then, try to state the main idea. Be on the lookout for direction markers!

1. The business practices of the Intel Corporation, a technology company best known for the production of microprocessors for computers, illustrate the importance of brand marketing. Intel was able to achieve a more than 1,500 percent increase in sales, moving from $1.2 billion in sales to more than $33 billion, in a little more than 10 years. Although the explosion of the home-computer market certainly accounted for some of this dramatic increase, the brilliance of its branding strategy also played a significant role.

2. Intel became a major producer of microprocessor chips in 1978, when its 8086 chip was selected by IBM for use in its line of home computers. The 8086 chip and its successors soon became the industry standard, even as Intel's competitors sought to break into this potentially lucrative market. Intel's main problem in facing its competitors was its lack of trademark protection for its series of microchips. Competitors were able to exploit this lack by introducing clone products with similar-sounding names, severely inhibiting Intel's ability to create a brand identity.

3. In an effort to save its market share, Intel embarked on an ambitious branding program in 1991. The corporation's decision to invest more than $100 million in this program was greeted with skepticism and controversy. Many within the company argued that the money could be better spent researching and developing new products, while others argued that a company that operated within such a narrow consumer niche had little need for such an aggressive branding campaign. Despite these misgivings, Intel went ahead with its strategy, which in a short time became a resounding success.

4. One of the keys to the success of Intel's new branding initiative was its close partnership with computer manufacturers. Intel involved the manufacturers in its plan by first offering them a rebate on the purchase of an Intel microprocessor. The money saved on the purchase of microprocessors was redirected into advertising, with Intel offering to pay fully half of manufacturers' advertising costs, provided their computers prominently featured the Intel brand logo. In an even more effective strategy, Intel also required computer manufacturers to produce products using competitors' chips. These products noticeably lacked the prominent Intel logo, which had a negative effect on consumers, who had come to expect to see Intel's brand on the computer.

5. Intel's successful branding campaign led to two important developments. The first was Intel's positioning of itself as the leader in microprocessors, recognized for creating products that were both reliable and ubiquitous, appearing in many different computer brands. This occurred despite the public's general lack of understanding of exactly what a microprocessor was or how Intel's processor was better than its competitors' chips. Second, Intel's campaign led to a boom in computer advertising. Prior to Intel's branding initiative, many advertisers avoided the computer industry, which generally spent far more of its money on research and development. But the success of Intel's branding program led to a new and eminently profitable relationship between computer manufacturers and advertisers.

6. Ironically, the success of Intel's branding strategy led to a marketing dilemma for the company. In 1992, Intel was prepared to unveil its new line of microprocessors. However, the company faced a difficult decision: release the new product under the current brand logo and risk consumer apathy or give the product a new name and brand and risk undoing all the work put into the branding strategy. In the end, Intel decided to move forward with a new brand identity. It was a testament to the strength of Intel's earlier branding efforts that the new product line was seamlessly integrated into the public consciousness.

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Main idea (provide the missing words) - Intel's strategy was important to its and also led to some important in the .

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