Initial Steps in Globalisation: 1976-1990.
As early as 1979 Multitech started to export personal computers combining OEM contracts and sales under its own brand. However its international expansionwas confronted with a series of difficult hurdles.
a) A Dubious Taiwanese Image
According to Stan Shih, "Taiwan's reputation is for low-end products". This image affected the company. Stan Shihdeveloped a series of initiatives in order to overcome this disadvantage.
First he actively supported and benefited from government public relation campaigns designed to promote Taiwanese products andchange their image. He also contributed to joint efforts by Taiwanese industrialists to enhance Taiwan’s image during trade fairs, publications and advertising.
Second, he started its own publicrelation and inexpensive advertising campaigns by undertaking innovative PR campaigns such as case writing by universities or banners on airports luggage trolleys. In addition it changed the name ofMultitech to Acer, giving the company an easy name to remember and crisp global spelling. It also undertook a series of alliances in the USA, some of them ending as acquisitions. The most famous one was thealliance with Texas Instruments in semiconductors that ultimately ended by the acquisition of TI notebook business.
Finally Acer emphasized technological innovation (it was the first ahead of IBM todevelop a 32-bit PC) and quality as a mean to obtain consumer recognition.
b) Access to Distribution and Market Intelligence
1 This data from this mini case are from: Stan Shih, J.T Wang andArthur Yeung, « Building Global Competitiveness in a Turbulent Environment: Acer’s Journey of Transformation”, 2006; Arthur Yeung “Acer Challenge of Global Collaboration and Synergy”, 2004, and DeborahClyde-Smith, “The Acer Group: Building an Asian Multinational”, Insead case n° 01/98-4712, " Acer in 2001: The Reorganisation", Centre for Asian Business Cases, HongKong,2001, Acer Annual Report,...
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