Some examples of work.
Creating, branding and launching a portfolio of new services
Gartner’s New Enterprise Architecture approach promised to give IT and business leaders the process and tools to build more efficient, flexible enterprises—evolving their technology dynamically to keep ahead of their competition.
Gartner needed to create products and services. To monetize the New Enterprise Architecture, Gartner had to define new offerings across each of its five areas of competence: Research, Consulting, Measurement, Events and Programs. The key to success was to ensure that IT and business leaders understood both the value of the new concept and how Gartner’s portfolio of products and services would help them achieve it. But marketing efforts to these diverse executives had been stove-piped in the past. The packaging of these services would have to have cross-functional appeal and encourage cross selling.
We helped architect a compelling portfolio of offerings. We worked with Gartner’s marketing and product teams to define the market opportunity and categorize the enterprise architecture needs of potential customers. On the basis of these findings, we defined and developd the portfolio of offerings—across all five of Gartner’s areas of competence—to deliver on the new research idea. We detailed needs and product benefits maps that enabled the sales force to match clients’ goals to the most relevant combination of services. The revolution worked. Gartner launched its New Enterprise Architecture to strong sales and market acceptance and continues to enable more effective enterprise development efforts in corporations around the world.
Building “innovation equity”
Architecture, engineering and planning firm HNTB had no shortage of great technologies: Applications to handle everything from managing projects, to assessing transportation systems, to broadcasting traffic alerts via the web.
Each application had a unique name and naming system—limiting the ability to transmit equity to the master brand. This also made it hard to manage, market and protect these discrete sparks of excellence. A clear product architecture would help the company to reap the full value of its technology investment and protect innovations from infringement.
The solution would have to be centralized, but provide a process for naming and marketing that would actually work for the engineers who were creating and using these products. We developed a comprehensive brand architecture framework and created a diagnostic tool for the firm’s technology innovators, product managers and marketers to use for ongoing brand management. Using our simple decision tree, these professionals could easily follow the naming and branding guidelines, and quickly build consensus for consistent, effective market launches.
Together we achieved HNTB’s goal. Through concerted alignment with the brand architecture principles, the firm is able to capitalize on its investments in innovative technologies.
Unifying a product family; launching a major new brand
Microsoft had bought and built an array of ERP product brands. Over the years, the company had assembled a portfolio of software solutions to help small and mid-size businesses integrate Financial, Supply Chain and Customer Relationship Management processes. The portfolio was a patchwork of respected brand names—Great Plains, Axapta, Solomon, Navision and Microsoft CRMand the overlapping functions and technical nuances among offerings were tough to explain in the marketplace. The products, marketed as business process organizers, were themselves not organized.
Microsoft wanted focus. A new, single product name would have to be clear and compelling for new customers, so confusing legacy references would be unacceptable. Yet each legacy product had loyal channel partners and customers, so completely moving away from legacy brands might put those relationships at risk.
We brought a balanced view. Working with the company’s Business Solutions group, we developed a new name and brand architecture solution that met these seemingly polarized goals. The Microsoft Dynamics family of products uses a system of suffixes to reflect legacy product names—such as Microsoft Dynamics GP for what was Great Plains. The new architecture evokes continuity and stability for existing clients while signaling simplicity and flexibility for new clients.
Together we achieved the goal. Microsoft Dynamics launched in Spring 2006, bringing a powerful, unified application array to the marketplace.
Repositioning a high-growth outsourcing business
Banta Global Turnkey was known as a leader in complex kitting: the packaging of technology and scientific accessories. But Banta offered so much more. It had perfected the science of customizing products at the last stage of the supply chain. Clients’ market responsiveness increased while their inventory costs plummeted.
Others were getting in the game. Contract manufacturers and logistics providers were offering inferior, lower-cost services that were drawing away prospective clients who did not grasp the superior value of Banta’s demand-driven service offering.
We helped Banta stand out. To differentiate this offering, we developed a broader and more compelling positioning for the business that reflected the reality of the services and benefits Banta brought to its clients. We created messages for sales and marketing materials, a proprietary visual model that showed Banta’s impact on business speed and costs, as well as standardized sales presentations and web content.
Project complete. Banta’s supply chain offering got the credit it deserved in the market—as evidenced by the addition of major new clients in the Retail, Manufacturing and Pharmaceutical Industries. It continues today as part of RR Donnelley to help clients get products to market faster, more easily and more profitably.