Ibm Smarter Planet

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IBM Smarter Planet

Why Smarter Planet

In 2007 IBM’s business was strong. Since his elevation to Chairman and CEO in 2002, Sam Palmisano had been positioning the company for the future. From spinning off IBM’s personal computer division (amidst much controversy) to investing heavily in the higher-value areas of software and business consulting, IBM had become "the expert" the world's great companies turned to with their most challenging technology needs. So what was the problem? The year-on-year commoditization of hardware and long-term revenue predictions of the company made it clear that continued success was going to require real top-line growth.

The change in business focus required more than a classic image shift for the brand. IBM needed the world to understand that it could help solve the world’s most challenging problems and technology had evolved to the point where many of the problems we faced were already fixable. IBM was at the forefront of fixing them even before the global economic crisis. IBM was taking the same exact thinking and solutions it applied to the world’s most successful businesses – and was simply applying them on a bigger scale. Granted, they were doing so in isolated areas with individual companies and governments, but they were doing it – and had real tangible proof of what was possible.


1. Create new business opportunities for IBM.

2. Increase the likelihood of companies to do business with IBM.

3. Position IBM as a leader in solving the world’s most pressing problems.

The Big Idea

* “A smarter planet is possible. Won’t you help us build it?”


Smarter Planet: Not an ad campaign – a business idea.

* Introduction of the idea not through an advertisement but by the CEO:

* “Our political leaders aren't the only ones who've been handed a mandate for change. Leaders of businesses and institutions everywhere confront a unique opportunity to transform the way the world works.”

Start with...