A few weeks back I had the honor to be invited by @PitneyBowes to participate in their first #powerofprecision chat on Twitter. The topic was the NEW Pitney Bowes, and yeah from head-to-toe this well-established and iconic brand has received quite a makeover! The chat was filled with marketers and brand strategists who were there to not only add much value to the discussion, but also have a chance to engage with Bill Borrelle – the man behind this epic transformation.
The chat was awesome and follow @PitneyBowes because they do the #powerofprecision chat once a month I believe, and attract some major social players to network with. And speaking of that, it is because of my social relationship with Pitney that I was able to take my interest in this rebranding story all the way up the chain and end up right at Bill Borrelle’s device of choice! Pitney saw the value of our community and helped me get this interview – which is pretty awesome I must say!
A big thanks to team Pitney Bowes and Bill Borrelle for sharing your transformative story with us… enjoy!
DC: Who is Bill Borrelle and what does he do?
BB: I lead Integrated Marketing Communications and Brand Strategy for Pitney Bowes. In the past year, I’ve focused on a brand transformation effort in order to communicate the role Pitney Bowes plays in driving commerce around the world.
I am also a ten-time marathoner and my long runs are along the Hudson River in Manhattan. Marathoning, like brand building, takes time and planning, but the results are invigorating.
DC: Why did Pitney Bowes need a makeover?
BB: Pitney Bowes has evolved over the years, but the perceptions of our company lagged who we had become. There was a great opportunity to assert our role in both physical and digital commerce. By developing a new strategy for the brand, we are able to put a spotlight on the innovations in commerce that we bring to our clients which include 90% of the Fortune 500.
DC: I think the logo update is a visual flag in the ground that this is a NEW Pitney Bowes. However, being such a well-established brand, is it possible to change the perception of Pitney Bowes as a “traditional” business/office machine manufacturer? From a branding standpoint, should you want to if you own that space?
BB: Companies, like people, have historical roots. We have to be true to our roots and connect the successes of the past to the future. The visual flag in our new identity is a celebration of our founders and the role that technology and innovation can have in creating a ripple effect on the world of commerce.
Our core business in mailing and shipping is tantamount to our new brand strategy. Our heritage, and the innovation we have achieved to create an industry in mailing, is very much representative of the work we do today innovating in the digital world.
DC: What is the new Pitney Bowes message? And how is it being supported product wise?
BB: The new Pitney Bowes message is simply that we deliver innovations that help our clients navigate the complex and always evolving world of commerce. Commerce has changed. It is much more connected and borderless, and our solutions in shipping and mailing, customer information, customer engagement, location intelligence and global ecommerce are all proof points to the role we play in modern commerce. Some of our product solutions, such as location intelligence, are very representative of how we help our clients navigate the world of commerce.
DC: What input from current customers, if any, did you take into consideration when forming the re-branding messaging?
BB: Our rebranding process began with the customer. Our current clients, ranging from mailing and shipping to data solutions and global ecommerce, played a large role in helping us shape our brand idea. We conducted extensive quantitative research all around the world with existing clients — as well as additional qualitative research — once we had positioning territories to explore.
I believe you need to research how your clients and prospects feel about your company and what factors drive their purchase decisions.
DC: How are you monitoring the new branding is executed correctly companywide… and that is a BIG VAST GLOBAL wide!
BB: We have great technology that gives full access to our employees and agencies, all around the world, to our brand assets. We paired this online access with training to ensure employees well understood the brand idea. We also supplied updated tools to facilitate creative development, and we have a global governance model to continually monitor adherence to standards.
DC: Coming from the advertising world, I have to ask… why the “jump” to the client side… and is the grass greener?
BB: I have immensely enjoyed so many years in Advertising where I was able to solve brand issues across a variety of categories from Financial Services to Telecommunications to Packaged Goods and the Hotel Industry. What intrigued me about this opportunity was the ability to devote 100% of my time to one business situation in great depth and complexity, and the transformation that is happening here.
How often do you get a chance to transform an iconic brand of the stature of Pitney Bowes?
DC: If you were to give the commencement speech at The Wharton School of Business, your alma mater, what would your message be in regard to the significance of social media as a tool for business, and some advice for mastering it?
BB: Future business leaders need to know that social media is an important component of the connective tissue that’s enabling global business. Social media seamlessly connects companies to customers in any market, at any time, on almost any device they may be using. That’s an amazing shift in a marketer’s ability to drive brand awareness and consideration, customer engagement, business leads, and even sales, globally.
Like most business functions, maximizing the value of social media centers on a deep understanding of your customer and their needs. What you know about your customer helps create a roadmap which defines your social purpose and performance. Get this wrong, and you never know where you’ll end up. In addition, social networks will rise and fall in popularity over time, so your social media strategy needs to focus on enhancing business relationships with customers and strategic partners, not just on activating programs on particular social platforms.
Connect with Pitney Bowes: www.pb.com