Building 20,000+ Brand Advocates
CommScope, a $5 billion leader in telecommunications and networking technology, has grown considerably through acquisitions. The result was most employees identified with their legacy company rather than with CommScope. As part of the rebranding effort—the first ever for the company—it was critical to introduce, share and align the new brand with the firm’s more than 20,000 employees first.
Following a comprehensive global research and brand repositioning process, we needed to find effective, appropriate ways to share the new strategy and brand with all levels of the organization.
Our strategy included the following:
Impress employees first. Employees were considered the most important stakeholders. Their first interaction with the new brand needed to be coordinated, considered and impactful, recognizing we didn’t have a second chance to make a first impression.
A symbol of change, not a change of symbol. Because the logo was the only part of the brand that wasn’t changing, we needed to emphasize the role of the new brand as well as its importance and context.
Engage by emotion. Our path to inspiring advocates and evangelists had to be through their hearts because we know this is how people process information and make decisions.
The brand evolution continues after its launch. A key consideration was the need to continue to engage and build the brand among employees—the launch was just the beginning.
We chose to phase the rollout, creating a plan to build momentum and enthusiasm. We paired the three-stage rollout around the three words of the new tagline: “Now Meets Next.” This gave us the ability to dimension meaning around the line while unveiling more and more about the brand at each stage. The “Now” stage unveiled the global research insights and new brand strategy, the “Meets” phase defined how the new brand design system was evolving and the final “Next” stage revealed how CommScope was enhancing its go-to-market channels and showcasing its new brand across its website, sales collateral and environments.
Given CommScope is a technology company, we wanted to showcase innovative technology and techniques. We adopted a mobile-dominant strategy to leverage the intimacy of interacting with employees more directly and outside the norms of the company’s more expected channels of communication (e.g., intranet).
We created an engaging app experience for mobile that delivered content in quick, digestible and entertaining ways. Users could swipe through stacks of “cards” that were themed around key topics of interest. Animations, quizzes and direct, authentic copy gave the experience a sense of discovery and fun and encouraged sharing. Each phase of the rollout would return users to the app as content and details grew over time. The mobile experience was the foundation of the rollout, and it was supported by a fully integrated global campaign that included posters, e-mails, newsletters, videos, office-wide town halls and brand camps to reach all of the 20,000+ employees.
During the launch, the excitement for the new CommScope was palpable, as evidenced in these direct quotations from employees: “This is the CommScope that I want to work for.” “When I saw the video, I cried.” “I can see the excitement building and the engagement driven by simple things like how information is presented.” “This work makes us look like Apple.”
Metrics for use of the digital tools exceeded both our goals and benchmarks with B2B companies of similar scale. Users spent 18 minutes on these materials on average. The road show covered 40 different global cities and delivered the message to the majority of the 20,000+ employees, who felt more connected with and confident in CommScope. The Brand Camps we created are a grassroots effort to immerse employees in the brand postlaunch and these efforts typically get fully reserved in the first day they are announced, exceeding the company’s expectations of demand.
Investors have recently upgraded the brand to “maximum technical strength,” saying, “The company has broken out to a five-bull momentum rating.” Across the globe, the brand is being enhanced in tradeshows and in marketing events in Ireland, Dubai and Madrid.
Efforts will continue to build understanding and appreciation of the brand because best practices are being shared in a continual feedback and improvement loop.
CommScope has benefited from the rebranding transformation from the outset. The new brand strategy has focused messaging, and the powerful new tagline “Now Meets Next,” has become a clear way to frame the technology convergence and opportunities in the marketplace. The company has gained numerous efficiencies in shedding its legacy brands. For the investors and major strategic customers, the ability of the company to command a leadership presence with a world-class brand in the market is fundamental to its long-term success.