I led marketing for Arthur D. Little’s (ADL) technology division. When corporate developed a new brand strategy, it was my job to introduce it to our professionals and help them learn to walk the talk.
I joined Arthur D. Little, an international consulting firm, just as the company was undergoing a brand change. Research showed that clients and prospects were confused about the company, its mission and its services.
I was responsible for all marketing and public relations for the firm’s Technology & Innovation division. It was my role to help my division understand the power of brands, our new brand positioning, and how to integrate this positioning into what they did each and every day.
I believe everyone is a brand champion, from the person who answers the phone to the individual who delivers the work, to the senior executive who makes strategy decision. So I spread brand gospel to everyone in the division, across all levels and all functions.
What is a brand?
I conducted several 4-hour structured classes on branding basics, and the division’s new brand messaging.
- What is a brand?
- Why is it important?
- How do strong brands help a company grow?
- How do weak brands damage a company’s success?
- What is our brand?
- How can we express it?
- What does it really mean to “walk the talk”?
Through presentations, open discussion, role playing, and breakout exercises, I spread the message on how we defined our business and how we should promote it to customers, prospects, and even people we meet in the elevator or at a dinner party. We distributed brand cards during training. The first showcased the overall company umbrella brand and spelled out each division’s brand statement. The second was a laminated card of our technology brand. The size of a standard business card, these statements were kept by all employees to help “walk the talk.”
My most rewarding moment came several months after training. I was giving a group of potential customers a tour of our laboratories and facilities. During the tour, engineers and scientists spoke about their area of expertise. In one of the labs, two of our scientists presented their work within the framework of the new brand, even using the key words we selected to promote our division. How passionate they sounded! How on message and on target! I listened during their discussion and saw how well the words and phrases resonated with the prospects.
And those prospects? They shortly became customers.