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Building brand awareness through content creation and community engagement.
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In late 2006, FORTUNE 1000 data storage firm NetApp told us that it was about to embark on the single largest marketing endeavor in its 15-year history: a new brand identity.
This multimillion-dollar branding campaign was more than just a refresh of external touch points – company name, logo, tagline, and Web site – it was an aggressive global communications strategy to support a critical business initiative: Raise NetApp awareness among strategic decision makers without alienating its core technology audience.
NetApp and Voce would spend the next 18 months researching, planning, refining, and executing. The new brand would eventually be unveiled to the outside world on March 10, 2008 at NetApp’s annual Analyst Day in New York City.
Voce was tasked with numerous aspects of the brand initiative, including global agency “voice” training, new marketing programs, channel communications, social media, and internal communications support.
Voce knew that a brand launch is not a single event. Rolling out a global corporate brand requires a multifaceted campaign that begins with internal education. Voce and the in house team began traveling around the world to educate the 21+ PR firms and local NetApp spokespeople. These “global brand ambassadors” were trained on the research and methodology behind the new brand, as well as communications strategies and verbiage relating to the new brand voice.
Voce then created and launched the “NetApp CIO University Program” to broaden and deepen relationships with C-level executives, while simultaneously generating awareness among University students — the strategic IT decision makers of tomorrow. On the social media front, Voce worked with NetApp advertising and SEO to develop a brand sentiment measurement program. This deep measurement analysis would be conducted prior to launch for a baseline measurement, then replicated six months later to analyze progress.
Voce also supported the NetApp internal comms team with an internal brand roll out to all 6,500 NetApp employees. This included all hands meetings in every key region, and an internal Web site with a moderated chat from NetApp executives. Subsequent surveys showed the employee response was extremely positive.
NetApp timed the external brand roll out to coincide with its Analyst Day. A concise blog post from the company’s founder was posted simultaneously so that it could be linked to extensively by journalists and bloggers. Results were immediate and massive, with nearly every target engaging in NetApp executive interviews, including CNBC, Businessweek, Forbes, Reuters, Bloomberg, eWeek, CRN, Searchstorage, B2B Magazine, PRWeek, and many others.
- Public Relations, including media relations and content generation
- Internal communications, including message and “voice training”
- Social Media, including SEO, measurement, and content generation
- Marketing program development, including CIO-level programs
- Online media production and distribution, including audio, video, images
- Reputation management, including monitoring, tracking, and response