Dropbox CMO shares the motivations for the biggest brand changes in 10 years

Brand repositioning aims to show company isn’t just a place to store files, but a ‘living workspace’ that brings teams together, global marketing chief tells CMO

Dropbox has unleashed the biggest change to its brand in its 10-year history, and global CMO Carolyn Feinstein is banking the bold repositioning will help shift the company away the  “grind and mania” that modern workers face to delivering a more ‘collaborative’ work environment.

Carolyn Feinstein
Carolyn Feinstein

Feinstein caught up with CMO to talk about the motivations behind the company’s latest brand repositioning and campaign, while also discussing the rapid fire changes in the marketing industry.

As part of the strategy, the company has unveiled a colourful new look and a global brand campaign focusing on creative energy.  A new logo, meanwhile, which is “cleaner and simpler”, and has evolved from a literal box to a collection of surfaces to illustrate Dropbox is an open platform and a place for creation, Feinstein noted. 

“This is our first significant brand redesign in the history of our company and it is the most significant brand campaign that we’ve ever done,” she said.

It addresses the state of modern day work life, with all of its myriad challenges, she said.

“Every great brand story really pushes against a universal truth or something that is widely felt in the marketplace, and as we looked around, what was really true was that modern work feels like it is in crisis. We’re all a little bit stuck in this grind of the way we work.

“For many of us, our workday feels like get up early, try to workout, grab something to eat, get to work, work a really long time, go home, tag our families, eat something, work some more, go to sleep and get up and do it again. And all the tools that were meant to save us, in fact, are adding to this sense of ‘grind and mania’ as we try to get things done, but are constantly pinned in every direction.”

Fostering collaboration 

Dropbox's ambition was to pump up its image as a collaborative company and communicate its point of differentiation and raison d’etre to the world.

“We are expanding from what we were known for - file, sync and share - and a company that lives simply and elegantly in the background of your life (a place where you sync your files and store all of your most precious stuff), to a collaborative platform that lives at the centre of your team’s creative experience," Feinstein said.

“So when we were looking at the marketplace and then looking at this expanded sense of who Dropbox is, and who we aspire to become, it was clear our brand needed to reflect that expanded sense of who we are, and the reality of the products we are building.”

As part of the changes, the company has also created a new homepage and Web experience.

“One of the things I’m most proud of is the fact the campaign is global in nature and reflects all the functions and regions in Dropbox’s marketing organisations around the world," Feinstein continued. "We’ve been able to take this core idea of ‘unleashing your creativity’ at the highest level, at the awareness generating level all the way through to our ability to capture that interest mid-funnel and in our completely redesigned and revamped web experience. And then increasingly using our analytics and marketing technology to move people to a trial experience most appropriate to them.”

With change the status quo for today's marketer, Feinstein reflected on the state of the modern CMO.

“What you see in the last several years is a bit of a tug-o-war in the CMO role and in marketing in general. There seems to be, what I would argue, is an artificial choice that people want to make between taking a quantitative technology-first approach to marketing, or leaning into creativity and messaging," she said.

“You really can’t do one effectively without the other, so I think what we are increasingly building at Dropbox is a marketing organisation that is made up of people with tremendous strength in both areas, which is what you see reflected in this campaign and what I think is going to put us in a really good position going forward.”

Eyeing the APAC market in particular, Dropbox APAC and Japan head of marketing, Deeps de Silva, said Australia is one of four key markets for the global brand campaign.

“We have a very strong creative community here in Australia and we’ve got a very strong team here based in Sydney. What we find is when we work with a lot of our customers, our creative community within those customers, are really driving the adoption around the change for technology. They are bringing in new technologies into the workplace,” he told CMO.

Deeps de Silva
Deeps de Silva

“We’re looking at enabling them to tell a story around how to be more productive in this new future of work. We have this very strong creative community and we’re enabling them to unleash their creative energy, and that’s the whole theme behind this campaign.”

Storytelling is a huge part of the local strategy in region, de Silva added. “We’ve been focused on identifying users, identifying how they are using Dropbox and the value they are getting out of it, and then helping them tell a story - amplifying these stories so other people in similar industries can see the value that they are getting out of Dropbox.”

Asked why now was the right time to unleash the new brand changes and the campaign, Feinstein said it’s important the company communicates its core beliefs and delivers a modern-day mission statement.

“What’s really exciting to me about this brand effort is that it’s a true reflection of our belief system as a company and the impact that we want to make on the world. At Dropbox, we really believe it’s not about just doing more," she said.

“We believe it’s about doing the things that truly matter, and the things that are meaningful and not only give us personal fulfillment in the way we spend our days at work, but also significantly move our work forward, and move our companies forward. And frankly, in some cases, move society forward.”

Asked next steps for the Dropbox marketing team, Feinstein said she has her eye on personalisation and getting greater customer insights.

“We’re talking a lot about our ability to be increasingly an insights-driven organisations so we can make sure that we have our customers at the centre of our decision-making all the time, which sounds pretty basic, but in practice takes a tremendous amount of discipline," she added.

“Regarding personalisation, it is then using those insights to ensure that we’re telling the message that is specific to each audience so that it is most relevant to them and engaged with most deeply. That’s a big focus for us in the coming year.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: Microsoft's Pip Arthur

​In this latest episode of our conversations over a cuppa with CMO, we catch up with the delightful Pip Arthur, Microsoft Australia's chief marketing officer and communications director, to talk about thinking differently, delivering on B2B connection in the crisis, brand purpose and marketing transformation.

More Videos

That’s great! While 95% of customer value high-quality support over speed, delivering both is vital in this competitive age. Integrating ...

Akansh M

Foxtel debuts in-app messaging chat to improve customer service

Read more

Thanks for the post

Ashirwad Towers

How a brand facelift and content strategy turned real estate software, Rockend, around

Read more

Like we have been growing in technology since the first industrial revolution and never stopping but when it comes to businesses around t...

Bhooshan Shetty

Predicting the Future: Marketing science or marketing myth?

Read more

Was really informative. Customer retention is very important for companies as retaining customers are simpler compared to making new ones...

Bhooshan Shetty

Gartner survey: CMO spending hit by COVID-19

Read more

Couldn't agree more!The way AI and machine learning as evolved over these years, it has completely changed the look of marketing and cust...

Bhooshan Shetty

Marketing 2030 and the rise of the machines

Read more

Blog Posts

Life beyond the cookie: 5 steps to mapping the future of marketing measurement

​There’s no denying there’s been a whirlwind of response to the imminent demise of the third-party cookie from all parts of the industry. But as we’ve collectively come to better understand the implications, it’s clear this change is giving the digital advertising industry the opportunity to re-think digital marketing to support core industry use cases, while balancing consumer privacy.

Natalie Stanbury

Director of research, IAB Australia

Ensuring post-crisis success

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed brands’ CX shortcomings and a lack of customer understanding. Given ongoing disruption, customer needs, wants and expectations are continually changing, also causing customers to behave in different ways. Just look at hoarding toilet paper, staple and canned food, medicinal and cleaning products.

Riccardo Pasto

senior analyst, Forrester

A few behavioural economics lesson to get your brand on top of the travel list

Understanding the core principles of Behavioural Economics will give players in the travel industry a major competitive advantage when restrictions lift and travellers begin to book again. And there are a few insights in here for the rest of the marketing community, too.

Dan Monheit

Co-founder, Hardhat

Sign in