Choosing between fresh versus legacy branding

CMO at DXC discusses the conundrum of whether to showcase transformation of the group's brand or rely on its technology roots

When it comes to the digital transformation of your organisation, who would you rather trust – an organisation that has helped others to transform, or one that has also transformed itself?

Gary Stockman is betting clients will prefer the latter, and in his role as chief marketing and communications officer at DXC Technology, he is tasked with ensuring they do.

Anyone who has walked through a major Australian airport recently will be familiar with the DXC Technology brand, although perhaps not with what it does. The company was formed in July 2017 through the merging of two large IT service providers – Computer Sciences Corporate (CSC) and the enterprise services group at HP Enterprise. The new organisation works to lead clients on their digital transformations.

While both companies have many decades of experience, the merger presented a clean sheet of paper from a branding perspective – and an interesting conundrum.

“There was a question of whether we wanted to do some sort of compound brand or something that was more evocative of the either of the predecessor companies, versus creating something new,” Stockman says. “But we felt the story we wanted to tell as a new company required a new brand and brand position by which to tell it.”

That immediately set about a process of recreating everything needed to support the brand, from new design guidelines (now featuring black and white high-contrast imagery) through to a new website, and collateral based around clients and storytelling.

“And all of that is an attempt to make a statement that at we are a new company and our intent is to do new great things,” Stockman says.

He adds, however, the company has been keen to not abandon its heritage.

“There are aspects of who we were that are incredibly relevant today, and our challenge is to pull those forward and attach those aspects of who we were to a new brand in the marketplace,” Stockman says. “And the creation of that brand gave us an opportunity to make a statement of who we intend to be.”

The rationale was further supported through the realisation that more and more technology purchasing decision are being made by decision makers outside of the technology function, who have no strong knowledge of the previous brands.

Most importantly, however, Stockman says the new brand allows the company to convey a proposition which is better suited to the reality of its clients.

“Today there is no question the clients feel an enormous imperative to leverage digital to improve their business,” Stockman says. “But they do not often have a clear sense of how they need to move forward – what are they solving for, what is the art of the possible.

“The same challenges that our clients are facing in digital transformation are challenges we have either met or are meeting ourselves.”

In this way, Stockman says DXC sees itself as ‘client zero’ for digital transformation.

“We are doing a lot of transforming ourselves, and we do relate that to our clients,” he says. “The ability to understand and empathise with the challenge and the urgencies than client or prospect faces I think can only help.”

Stockman joined the CSC side of the business in June 2014, from a background mostly spent in agencies, including more than 12 years with Porter Novelli in New York. While he was initially concerned whether the pace and variety of life in a large corporate would match what he was used to, Stockman says the variation of the client work immediately provided ample stimulation. And then of course there was the small matter in 2017 of the merger.

From an operational perspective, Stockman’s heritage has led him to build the function in a way that treats the business as a client.

“That is something you don’t always see from corporate marketing and communications organisations but that is something we really tried to instil here,” he says. “We ask what are the tangible business outcomes that we are seeking to achieve and then how do we work with our internal clients to affect those outcomes. And how do we deploy all the resources across marcom to do it.”

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

More Videos

It's an interesting direction, and fair play that they've backed what their service differentiator in the market is. It's a bit clunky bi...

Jeff

Versa launches bot-activated website

Read more

Algorithms that can make sense of unstructured data is the future. It's great to see experts in the field getting together to discuss AI.

Sumit Takim

In pictures: Harnessing AI for customer engagement - CMO roundtable Melbourne

Read more

Real digital transformation requires reshaping the way the business create value for customers. Achieving this requires that organization...

ravi H

10 lessons Telstra has learnt through its T22 transformation

Read more

thanks

Lillian Juliet

How Winedirect has lifted customer recency, frequency and value with a digital overhaul

Read more

Having an effective Point of Sale system implemented in your retail store can streamline the transactions and data management activities....

Sheetal Kamble

​Jurlique’s move to mobile POS set to enhance customer experience

Read more

Blog Posts

Brand storytelling lessons from Singapore’s iconic Fullerton hotel

In early 2020, I had the pleasure of staying at the newly opened Fullerton Hotel in Sydney. It was on this trip I first became aware of the Fullerton’s commitment to brand storytelling.

Gabrielle Dolan

Business storytelling leader

You’re doing it wrong: Emotion doesn’t mean emotional

If you’ve been around advertising long enough, you’ve probably seen (or written) a slide which says: “They won’t remember what you say, they’ll remember how you made them feel.” But it’s wrong. Our understanding of how emotion is used in advertising has been ill informed and poorly applied.

Zac Martin

Senior planner, Ogilvy Melbourne

Why does brand execution often kill creativity?

The launch of a new brand, or indeed a rebrand, is a transformation to be greeted with fanfare. So why is it that once the brand has launched, the brand execution phase can also be the moment at which you kill its creativity?

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in