In CMO Huddles, the debate rages on about calling out brand-building in your budget. Some do. Most don’t. But all recognize that brand-building takes time, can be measured, and impacts all aspects of the company including employee retention, recruiting, CX, and demand generation.
There are quite a few euphemisms that CMOs are using to disguise the word “brand” (i.e., air cover, category creation, reputation management), but no matter what word they use, brand matters. Below, check out 4 examples from B2B CMOs who have put an emphasis on brand building, ultimately growing and expanding business in new and unexpected ways.
Bringing Customers to the Cloud at Gigamon
Where does Gigamon CMO Karl Van den Bergh fall on the does-brand-matter debate? From his interview: “Can you really drive effective demand without brand? I think you can to some degree, but you will be limited.” And it’s that mindset that made him the perfect match for Gigamon, a brand that was looking to invest in marketing to reach next-level growth.
Gigamon’s extensive customer journey analysis made it clear that it was time to shift to the cloud, without losing their strong commitment to being a brand that customers could trust. They subsequently released Hawk by Gigamon, a new cloud visibility offering supported by some incredible go-to-market execution that would allow Gigamon to show its continued commitment to customers.
Identifying an Engagement Capacity Gap at Verint
Spinning off $500 million from a $1.3 billion company comes with its challenges. Namely, they would need to carefully change people’s perceptions about an established brand. Such was the case for Celia Fleishacker when she joined Verint, a company letting go of a large chunk of its business to move into a pure-pay customer engagement company.
Initial branding research showed a large engagement capacity gap, one that was growing rapidly alongside worldwide digital transformation. Verint’s top-line message became “Boundless customer engagement.” You can get the full details of how they made this real in Celia’s interview, but so far it’s going well—Verint’s top-of-funnel, influenced, and pipeline metrics are tracking on the up and up.
Strategic Simplification Equals New Verticals at FIS
Why does a company making $12B in annual revenue with 60K+ employees and 20K+ clients in 130 countries need to do brand work? As FIS CMO Ellyn Raftery (who has been with FIS for an impressive 9 years) shared in her interview: “We have to be a player and it’s important for investors and our clients to see that we’re investing in them, where we’re heading strategically, the value that we’re bringing, the capability that we have, the criticality.”
After acquiring Worldpay in 2019, FIS found itself with a combined 12 brand values and 850+ products. It was time to simplify. And simplify they did, establishing 3 brand values, 10 product categories, and one story to hold it all together: “Advancing the way the world pays, banks, and invests.” It’s gotten internal and external audiences excited, and it’s opened up unexpected opportunities in the form of new offers and new verticals as FIS pivots to a B2B2C play.
Pivoting Under Pressure at ABM Industries
B2B brand purpose is the North Star every organization needs, especially in times of crisis. Take the case of ABM Industries, a facilities services company that pivoted under pressure to meet the COVID-19 pandemic head-on. With their North Star defined as “To take care of people, spaces, and places that matter to us,” it was a no-brainer that ABM Industries would, well, be there!
To take care of its employees and customers, ABM’s marketing strategy became driven by “Safety you can see.” In her interview, CMO Cary Bainbridge shared how the brand was there for its employees and customers, pulling together a COVID Response Center, setting up pod structures to cascade internal safety protocols, and launching a new “Enhanced Clean” offering. That’s all fine and good, you say, but where are the business results? ABM Industries saw a remarkable 50% YoY increase in leads.