EE204: Business Management for
Electrical Engineers and Computer Scientists

Branding Challenges in Asia


  1. The Branding Challenges of Asian Manufacturing Firms (HBS materials)
  2. Transforming ASUSTeK: Breaking from the Past (HBS materials)

Case Summary

What happens when an original design manufacturer (ODM) firm tries to transform itself into a branded goods seller? The case traces the evolution of ASUSTeK from a motherboard supplier, to an ODM of desktop and notebook PCs, through its split into three companies that separately pursue the branded business, ODM, and contract manufacturing. Chairman Jonney Shih has to not only confront the challenges of brand building, but he must also build new organizational capabilities in ASUSTeK, while Pegatron struggles to win business from ASUSTeK's former customers and now competitors.

Discussion Questions

  1. Describe ASUSTeK's strategy in the first generation of the company (1989-1998), including an analysis of its marketing strategy. What did the ASUSTeK brand stand for during this period, and for whom?
  2. What competitive forces changed between 1998-2002, and how did this impact ASUSTeK's profitability? How did ASUSTeK modify its customer focus and branding strategy in response to these changes?
  3. Critique the strategy to form ASRock. What steps were taken to differentiate ASRock from ASUSTeK? How successful have these efforts been in avoiding conflict wtih OEM customers?
  4. Has ASUSTeK met the criteria in the reading for overcoming branding challenges? Why or why not?
  5. Do you support Chairman Jonney Shih in pursuing a global branded strategy for ASUSTeK? What do you think the brand should be, and who should it be for? What are the basic steps you would take to implement that strategy? What are the market- and firm-level factors challenging this goal? What are the chances of success?

SCPD Students

See the SCPD Resource Page for general information on assignment submission, team building, expectations, and getting help. See the SCPD Grading Page for evaluation procedures for daily written assignments.

Written work should be submitted using SCPD Homework Processing procedures.

All times listed below are PDT (California time).

  1. Complete the assigned readings and submit answers to the Discussion Questions in Writeup 1 (1 page) by 9am Thursday 5/17/2012.
  2. The videotaped class meeting should be available via SCPD by 2pm, Thursday 5/17/2012.
  3. Watch the video of the class meeting and meet with your team to discuss.
  4. Submit Writeup 2 (1-2 pages) by 9am Tuesday 5/22/2012. This writeup should include the following:
    • A summary of the main points of the class discussion
    • Any points from the discussion that you found particularly enlightening or disagreed with
    • A discussion of how your initial responses did or did not align with the direction of the class discussion
    • A revised go-forward strategy for ASUSTeK