Kristin Kelley, Chief Marketing Officer at Randstad, and Karen Steele, Vice President of Corporate Marketing at VMware, discussed how an organization can use branding to differentiate itself from its rivals during a Fireside Chat at the 2014 Chief Marketing Officer Leadership Forum in Los Angeles on Jan. 27. During the chat, “The Business of Branding,” Kelley noted that branding plays a pivotal role in all departments within an organization, and collaboration between these departments can help ensure that an organization’s marketing efforts are successful.
According to Kelley, branding is important because it provides an opportunity for an organization to show its relevance to its customers. With effective branding, Kelley said, her organization was able to explain what it does and distinguish itself in a competitive global marketplace. In addition, Kelley stated that her organization devoted plenty of time and resources to ensure its branding matched its mission: “We wanted to be inspiring, so we needed to come up with a brand which we knew would be Randstad but add a value proposition that was inspiring. We obviously needed to tell a story of relevance.”
Getting customer feedback also is valuable for an organization that wants to reinvent itself, Kelley said. If an organization understands its clientele, Kelley noted, it can become a thought leader in its respective industry: “Our ads changed, our thought leadership changed, our value proposition changed … We knew we might have an issue, but then we did a ton of direct marketing to [some of our] customers to say, ‘You’re not going to forget. You’re not going to miss the level of service you got. You’re not going to miss the expert.'”
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