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Before Intel (Nasdaq: INTC ) started putting its "Intel Inside" decals on the cases of personal computers running Microsoft's Windows operating system, not many consumers could have cared less about which CPU was pushing the ones and zeros around. But the power of that branding campaign helped propel Intel so far past rival chip maker Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD ) that it is now listed as the seventh best brand in the world, according to Interbrand -- ahead of even Apple and Disney.
The success of that kind of marketing has inspired Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM ) , the current king of mobile device processors, to take a page from Intel's playbook and try to make consumers care about which chipset is inside their mobile devices. The first step Qualcomm is taking is to rename "Qualcomm Stadium" -- the home of the San Diego Chargers -- to "Snapdragon Stadium" for 10 days this month. Snapdragon is Qualcomm's top-line mobile processor.
Dan Novak, vice president of global marketing for Qualcomm, told Total Telecom that, "As you look at how competitive and how many companies are really focused on the smartphone and tablet category, more and more consumers are thinking about what technology is ... inside their phone. We want people to ask if it's Snapdragon or not."
During the renaming period, Dec. 18 to Dec. 28, Snapdragon Stadium will host several nationally televised football games, one NBC "Sunday Night Football" game and two college bowl games on ESPN. Qualcomm expects 30 million viewers to watch those games -- and take in all the Snapdragon signage.
You can't go anywhere without hearing about new high-speed smartphones and tablets being introduced, and the mobile processor market jumped 59% in the third quarter to meet that demand. Chipset makers Samsung, Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN ) , Marvell (Nasdaq: MRVL ) , Broadcom (Nasdaq: BRCM ) , and NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA ) will be competing strongly to take away as much of that market from Qualcomm as they can.
I like Qualcomm's thinking here. It's presently the top dog, but those other hounds are snapping at its tail, so it better get busy and mark its territory. The question it wants the public to ask is: Is Qualcomm inside?
I am giving Qualcomm a thumbs-up on CAPS.
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