June 07, 2019

Aligning your brand after mergers and acquisitions (and 3 other considerations for long-term success)

Mergers and acquisitions are a key part of many B2B growth strategies. But if you’re not experiencing the market impact you expected, and internal efficiency and cost savings you planned, you’re not alone. After a series of multiple acquisitions or mergers, many brands find themselves with a diluted value proposition, unclear positioning and internal confusion. At Cross-Border Communications, we’ve seen how a strong branding strategy, integrated through internal and external branding and marketing, can play a crucial role in ensuring a B2B brand’s long-term success. Here are four things to consider as your brand goes through this complicated process.

1) Challenge your current brand hierarchy

A key first step post-merger or acquisition is a thorough evaluation of your portfolio strategy as well as your future brand hierarchy. The brand hierarchy, or 'brand architecture', is the cornerstone of a targeted go-to-market approach and serves as both internal guidance and external customer navigator. The spectrum of brand architecture ranges from a ‘house of brands’ made up of multiple, individual brands to a ‘branded house’ that uses one, overarching brand. You may, however, find that a combination of different scenarios is the right fit for your business.

2) Align your brand and business strategy

It’s important to reflect on what factors have been driving the acquisitions or mergers. If your brand and business strategy are out of step, it’s harder to occupy a strong position in the market. Your business strategy should inform your brand strategy, and the route you take in handling the brand, the brand architecture and the transition post-acquisition or merger.

3) Consider your positioning    

Mergers and acquisitions will, naturally, affect your position in the market – it’s time to revisit your positioning, value proposition and the messaging around those promises. This is also a chance to take stock of your brand: Is the company culture aligned with the brand promise? Does the look and feel of the visual Identity mirror your strategic intent? Are the customer and employee experience aligned with your brand promise? In short, consider the merger or acquisition an opportunity to revitalise and strengthen your brand and business.

4) Make your organisation live the brand

Simply put, it’s hard to get people to change. But your brand and brand communications can support the change management process. Your brand can provide a common set of goals and values to align on as you begin to combine two often very different cultures and ways of working. And ultimately, you need all employees on board with your brand before they can credibly live and deliver your story and value proposition.

A successful one brand process

Cross-Border Communications has the experience and process to help you create the right brand strategy, from redesigning your brand identity platform and architecture, to a creative brand communications concept. See how we helped FLSmidth unite multiple branded entities under one brand and how Amphenol Procom aligned and optimised their brand.

 

May 22, 2019

New talent at Cross-Border Communications

As Cross-Border Communications continues to grow its client base and capabilities, we’re thrilled to welcome our new Account Director, Sara Hansen, and Copywriter, Kat Nunn, to our team of B2B brand and marketing specialists.  

Kat Nunn is a native English copywriter, and graduate from the University of Cambridge. Kat joins Cross-Border Communications from Designit, a global strategic design agency, where she developed the brand’s B2B marketing and communications, and worked with clients across finance, aviation and healthcare.

Account Director Sara Hansen has more than 10 years of strategic branding and marketing experience. She has worked in brand consultancies in London, New York and Copenhagen with international clients across a variety of B2B industries, and was most recently Lead Branding Consultant at Ørsted. 

Over the past 35 years, Cross-Border Communications’ B2B brand and marketing specialists have delivered more than 3000 projects. If you’d like to learn more about how we grow international B2B brands, take a look through some of our latest work.
March 05, 2019

Driving a successful one brand process

Reliable communications solutions are mission critical across the aviation, transportation, public safety and telecom industries. Amphenol Procom forms the backbone of communications for public services and commercial sectors, with an unrivalled depth of expertise, a comprehensive portfolio of products, and a trusted legacy for performance and reliability. The company is a division of Amphenol, a $8-billion dollar manufacturer of interconnect solutions.

The business consisted of four individually strong brands, but the brand architecture was causing confusion in the market and internally. To support the company’s ambitious growth targets, Amphenol Procom recognised the need for a new brand identity that could unite the organisation internally and help differentiate and position the business as a whole in the market.

A structured approach to a new brand strategy

Following a brand assessment research process and brand workshops, CBC supported Amphenol Procom’s definition of a new brand vision/mission and brand name. On the strategic brand foundation, CBC developed a new brand identity and creative communications concept with powerful messaging and visuals that clarified the company’s value proposition. The overall value proposition was condensed into the ‘Connect with confidence’ strapline, working on multiple levels:

CBC_Procom_900x600_Logo

  • For an end-user, ‘Connect with confidence’ gives complete assurance that their network will perform as needed, every time
  • For a system integrator or distributor, it conveys that Amphenol Procom products are a true ’fit and forget’ solution, and that the product range would secure their own market position
  • Internally, it is a rallying cry for Amphenol Procom itself; the combined companies under the Amphenol Procom group can now reach out to customers with a clear, unified voice

“By consolidating our brands into one, we are making it much clearer to the market who we are, which has helped us in our integration process internally and effectively supported our growth in the market. CBC has been a valuable support in our journey.” Mette Brink, CEO of Amphenol Procom. 

CBC_Procom_900x600_Website

Rebranding to meet business goals

CBC developed the concept as an integrated marketing resource at every stage. The development and implementation process included a complete new corporate visual identity with print and online design for brand and marketing communication. CBC also acted as a strategic advisor on the internal and external implementation and completed a broad range of brand activation activities.

CBC_Procom_900x600_Brochure

“Working with CBC helped us formulate our brand, which supported us in integrating departments inside the business and pulling together to reach our ambitious goals. We were fully supported at all stages of the process and impressed with the quality and efficiency of the team.” Steven Lüthje Hansen, Global Head of Marketing & Customer Service

If you think your B2B brand should be providing stronger support for your global ambitions, contact Ralph Krøyer at rk@cbc.dk or on +45 35 25 01 60.

February 20, 2019

B2B growth through a customer-centric strategy

Lactosan is one of the world’s leading providers of cheese powder solutions. Having been first to invent cheese powder, the company now works with a broad range of food producers who use their cheese powders for many different applications ranging from pasta to pet food.

With orders outpacing capacity, Lactosan started to invest in developing production capabilities to ensure the business would be well placed to meet the needs of an expanding customer base. As crucial support for this growth plan, Lactosan also recognised the importance of keeping its brand relevant if it was to retain its leading position in new and existing markets.

 Putting the customer first

To achieve this, Lactosan needed to get closer to the customer through a brand platform that communicated a clearer proposition and that connected more powerfully with their customers’ world. With experience working with corporations across the global food production industry, CBC was brought in to help bring this exciting project to life.

CBC_Lactosan_B2B_Growth_900x600_Brochure

An efficient process

CBC initially conducted qualitative customer research to gain clearer insight into their needs and to identify the areas in which Lactosan provides the most value. From this, CBC identified the key value proposition and messages that would be most effective across different segments, and that became the foundation for a creative campaign under the theme “Bringing your product to life”.

Building a customer-centric B2B brand

Creatively, the theme was visualised in a way that gave Lactosan a unique look and a powerful position to own. The campaign brought Lactosan’s strengths into play and differentiated it clearly from competitors, but kept all messaging clearly focused on customer needs. This was then developed across a selection of targeted channels, integrating both on- and off-line activities to ensure desired impact, including a new website, corporate brochure, advertising and sales presentations.

“CBC were surprisingly quick in understanding our customers’ world and how to translate this into creative ways to build our brand most effectively,” said Heidi Knudsen, Marketing Manager of Lactosan. “They are a pleasure to work with and consistently exceeded expectations. Lactosan now has an identity to be proud of and one that will support the next phase of our journey.”

Jesper Olsen, Sales & Marketing Director at Lactosan, also commented: “CBC has been able to identify the best ways to strengthen our marketing and ensure we are as relevant as possible in our markets. We now communicate a strong value proposition that clearly conveys how Lactosan can help to inspire and facilitate the development of successful food concepts, worldwide.”

Many B2B companies still rely on communications that focus on their own achievements, rather than their customers’ needs. If you feel that your business would benefit from a value proposition and brand identity that was finely tuned to be more customer-centric, maybe we can help.

Contact Ralph Krøyer at rk@cbc.dk or on +45 35 25 01 60 to start exploring your options.

CBC_Customer_Centric_900x600

February 08, 2019

Content marketing that makes waves

Brüel & Kjær is the world’s largest supplier of advanced technology for measuring and managing the quality of sound and vibration. In 2013, CBC relaunched Brüel & Kjær’s magazine Waves, and worked with them to support and strengthen their brand position as the experts in sound and vibration over the following five years, adding a special focus on the early stages of the buyer journey. The concept was to engage both commercial and technical decision-makers, bringing their perspectives and reasons to buy together, and cover innovative and ground-breaking stories within the realm of sound and vibration.

CBC_B&K_Waves_Offline

Waves was redeveloped as an on and offline magazine, covering all areas of the industry from car design, urban noise limits and mining noise to developments in space shuttle technology and modes of monitoring whale songs. To create the direction and lead the content strategy, CBC ran an editorial strategy workshop and used a web survey to understand the needs of the brand, how it is perceived and see where opportunities lay.

The newly-redesigned magazine includes case studies from clients and partners, technical innovation stories, pieces on broad industry themes, and a little humour as well, and further developed the digital version of the magazine on to create a stronger online presence.

CBC_B&K_Waves_Digital

The results have been highly positive. The new design and strategy grew the subscriber list by 240%, with an e-newsletter seeing typical open rates of 21.58% and click rates at 5.5%, 72% higher than industry average. The e-newsletter is sent to 53.070 subscribers and has an open rate of 21,58%, with a typical click rate of 5,49%. It is also sent out in print to 4.974 customers.

“CBC understood exactly what we wanted and developed the right strategy and creative approach. The project went beyond just creating a magazine, becoming a new way to position the brand, internally and externally. We are delighted with the way the process unfolded and the results we achieved together.” Charlotte Stampe – coordinator, Brüel & Kjær

Explore Brüel & Kjær’s magazine or see more of CBC’s work.

 
December 19, 2018

What again? CPH wins “best stand” at World Routes 2018

Over six years of partnership, CBC has watched Copenhagen Airport (CPH) go from success to success. This time we helped CPH win “best stand” at World Routes 2018 for the second year running – a major achievement against stands from some of the biggest competitors worldwide.

CBC_CPH_World_Routes_stand_900x600

World Routes is a key trade event for airports and other businesses in the aviation industry, with over 3000 delegates from airports and airlines across 110 countries. It is the most effective place for airline sales to show what the CPH stands for as an airport, and what potential it offers for new route development.

CBC_CPH_World_Routes_stand_900x600_2

It is crucial that CPH’s stand attracts the right level of attention and leaves a lasting impression. Personal relationships play a pivotal role in the aviation industry, so a stand that conveys professionalism, efficiency and quality while anchoring key messages in delegates’ minds can make a vital difference to the outcome.

Watch the video developed for the event:

 If you are looking to make the right impact at your next trade show to engage your customers and generate leads, let’s talk.

 
September 21, 2018

Harness the power of B2B thought leadership

Brüel & Kjær is known worldwide as a leading provider of solutions for measuring and managing the quality of sound and vibration.

To celebrate 75 years in business and position the brand as being at the forefront of progress, senior management wanted to create a thought leadership campaign that would inspire and guide the future of product development.

Together with Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies, the ambitious Beyond Tomorrow project was born.

Beyond Tomorrow

Beyond Tomorrow is a vision study project that used realistic scenarios to explore the future of product development and clarify what businesses believed would be vital to remain competitive. Working with visionary experts and selected organizations, the study investigated key trends and predictions for product development towards the year 2030.

As well as a “megatrends” report that summarized the findings of the scenarios, the project culminated in an event at Brüel & Kjær’s headquarters in Copenhagen, where the results were discussed in depth by business leaders.

You can view Brüel & Kjær’s concept video here:

Integrated marketing support

 The entire project needed a communications partner and platform that would give the project the strong identity, structure and clarity needed to open doors at management level and engage audiences with value-adding content.

CBC rose to the challenge, developing the project theme and concept as well as acting as an integrated marketing resource at every stage.

The big “Beyond Tomorrow” idea and graphical identity was designed to build awareness with C-level and top management audiences (through direct emails, social media and print media) and create engagement through key communications channels (activation of content in microsites, events, presentations, reports, articles, animations, etc.).

CBC also structured and created Sales Kits to support sales in presenting the insights and working with customers to integrate the findings into their strategic planning. CBC also developed all marketing and materials needed for the event itself.

CBC B&K Thought Leadership Report

The conversation isn’t over

The strategy and concept proved to have the desired effect. Brüel & Kjær was able to generate leads, get on the radar with top managers and create a wealth of valuable information that not only benefitted the organizations directly involved, but has gone on to inspire businesses in many different sectors.

The results and findings of the vision study are still being used and exchanged worldwide. Being at the epicentre of the campaign, Brüel & Kjær continue to be seen as authoritative pioneers leading a crucial conversation that is heard across multiple industries.

Check out Brüel & Kjær’s event video here:

If you feel that thought leadership could be a way to elevate your brand and add new fuel to your content marketing activities, contact Ralph Krøyer at rk@cbc.dk or on +45 35 25 01 60. In your industry, tomorrow’s conversations are waiting to happen.

 
 
August 27, 2018

Aligning internal culture with brand promise

For towage and emergency response giant Svitzer, safety comes first. To drive engagement with its safety agenda, we found a way to reach thousands of employees worldwide.

To live up to this promise, however, best safety practices must be deeply ingrained within Svitzer’s culture from the ground up. Over the last five years, CBC has been helping Svitzer to drive internal engagement with their safety agenda, part of which involves an annual Safety Day event to highlight and communicate key issues, goals and targets.

This time, the Safety Day focused on correct use of heaving lines between vessels, under the theme “safe while connecting”. Here it is all about teaching crews on both Svitzer and connecting vessels to operate a heaving line properly, with no harm to themselves or others. A difficult part of this is how to attach a heavy object to the line and throw it to the tug boat, while communicating between vessels and avoiding injury.

CBC explored new platforms to communicate these safety issues at eye level and to retain top-of-mind awareness. As every crew member has a smartphone, the most effective solution was a simple and educational game app that highlighted best practices in an entertaining way (and could also reach thousands of employees scattered worldwide).

The game was exceptionally well received, with plans now in place to prolong awareness of the topic through high score competitions.

You can download the game on AppStore or GooglePlay. Search for ‘monkey’s fist’.

For B2B businesses, finding effective ways to get employees on board with important strategic journeys isn’t easy. But – it is crucial, and not delivering on your brand promise can have a huge impact on your brand and business.

If you are looking to achieve the same success as Svitzer in aligning your brand culture with your brand promise, let’s explore ways in which we can help you get there.

Read the full case on Svitzer’s internal branding efforts or contact us now.

August 15, 2018

Finding relevance for a B2B brand

When TICRA approached CBC, they were already recognised as the market’s leading provider of reflector antenna and electromagnetic modelling software. However, their visual identity and digital presence didn’t live up to the same world-class standards. It was time to reinforce the brand position and sharpen the value proposition to support lead generation targets.

After researching TICRA’s target groups to gain valuable insight into their needs, drivers and buying behaviour, CBC developed an impactful brand communications platform that elevated the business to an entirely new level.

A unique visual concept gave TICRA everything it needed to demonstrate the market leadership and stand apart from competitors, showing once again the power of taking a highly complex proposition and distilling it into a clear, simple and compelling message.

The new brand identity lent itself perfectly to a variety of formats, especially digital. The outcome has been well-received as a shift from product-focused communications to a strongly customer-centric offering, and the new website has played a vital role in driving lead generation.

“What we do is rocket science. We were impressed with CBC’s ability to gain a strong understanding of our customer’s challenges, and their focus on turning a complex proposition into a communication platform that our customers could instantly identify with,” said Dorthe Friberg, Marketing Manager at TICRA. “I am confident our new brand identity will help drive our business forwards for years to come.”

There’s huge potential for almost all B2B marketers to ensure their message is clearer and more relevant, and one that creates an even greater impact with target audiences. This is especially so if your business operates within a complex industry, like TICRA.

So, consider this: if it takes you more than one minute to explain your value proposition, maybe we can help.

View Ticra’s website, contact us or read more about how we have helped B2B brands gain relevance in key markets.

July 03, 2018

Boosting online conversion by 400%

Since 1914, Plus Pack has been providing the food industry with innovative packing solutions. Having worked with CBC in the past to develop a strong online presence, Plus Pack now turned to CBC to communicate their new brand promise, “We make food stand out”, in the most impactful way possible.

In addition to developing a new creative communications concept that reflected Plus Pack’s commercial value and commitment to the food industry, a priority project was the design and development of a new website. The goal was to increase online lead generation by 100%.

Together, we hit 400%.

Digital done right

CBC worked closely alongside Plus Pack’s Marketing Manager, Maria Møllegård Schmidt, and Director of Business Development & Marketing, Camilla Haustrup Hermansen, to ensure the new Plus Pack website effectively supports the B2B customer journey, offers an engaging user experience, and conveys a clear proposition to the food market. All with focus on optimizing the online conversion of the inbound activities.

Upscaling the message

The concept “We make food stand out” was brought to life through a series of impactful visuals that highlighted how Plus Pack enables producers to present products most appealingly on supermarket shelves and deliver on their commercial and operational objectives.

It’s not just about what you say – it’s also about how you say it. CBC’s unique visual concept was used across the Plus Pack website and in all other marketing channels to build a consistent brand impression in all customer touchpoints. The update included a redesign of the brand identity including font and colours to help bring greater impact to all communications.

Building on success

“It was a great result to increase lead generation by 400% following the website’s launch,” said Camilla. “We now have a solid platform for our digital presence. But now is not the time to relax. We are working together to optimize the website structure and design and improve performance even further.”

Explore Plus Pack’s website or CBC’s other digital Work.