We caught up with our Director of Corporate Brand to gain some insights and insider knowledge into RingCentral’s new brand campaign. Enjoy exploring our fun Q&A.
Q: What does brand mean to you?
A: A brand speaks to a company’s mission and core differentiation. I believe a strong brand is rooted in delivering great products and building amazing customer experiences. Several factors influence brand, but if I were to sum it up into four key areas, I would say: recognition, reputation, experience, and perception.
Q: That sounded like your academic answer. Now give us a more personal answer.
A: It absolutely was! On a personal note, brand to me, it’s really that initial gut feeling you get when you hear a company’s name. It’s an emotional response, and typically its either positive, negative, or neutral.
Q: Why is it that companies revisit or refresh their brand strategy from time to time?
A: We live in a time of constant change. Technology, industries, customer needs – are constantly evolving. Businesses who wish to remain relevant and current, will have to refresh their brand strategy on an ongoing basis. Brand is never done. It’s ongoing. Bottom line, if you see there is a delta between your brand’s current perception and the desired perception, then you know there is some work to be done to create the perception shift.
Q: How did you go about assessing current and desired perceptions?
A: You must capture a 360-degree view from multiple audiences and stakeholders – such as your employees, executives, customers, prospects, partners, and analysts. Only then can you obtain a more holistic picture. Ask the right questions; do message testing, surveys, focus groups. Being methodical will help you gather the right data, and then it will help you make informed decisions that are based on data and intelligence vs opinions.
Q: What was the opportunity you saw for RingCentral?
A: We definitely had an opportunity to tell a story that was rich and more compelling. We are a global cloud communications and collaboration solutions leader, with cutting-edge technology. Our brand positioning should reflect how that technology empowers people.
Q: Every campaign starts with a voice and tone. Where did you land with RingCentral?
A: Our campaign is based on a voice and tone that is modern, bold, confident, and inspirational. That decision was unanimous.
Q: Tell us about the persona who is featured in the campaign. What’s the story behind the woman?
A: Basically, she could be road warrior, a mobile worker, an innovator, a taskmaster, a corporate super hero. You see multiple dimensions of the same person— communicating, collaborating, and connecting. It’s a powerful visual that captures your eye.
Q: Speaking of which, tell us about “communicate, collaborate, connect.” What was the thinking there?
A: Basically, we are telling a higher-level story, and it’s about powerful human connections. When people and businesses have the right tools, technology, and solutions at their fingertips to communicate and collaborate, what you have in the end is a more powerful connection.
Q: So, “connect” is more of an outcome and end result, versus say, establishing an initial connection?
A: That’s correct. So let’s go back to the premise of people and businesses having the right tools, technology, and solutions at their fingertips. When you have connected people, you have connected teams. When you have connected teams, you have a connected workforce. When you have a connected workforce, you have a connected business. And when you have a connected business, you have better connections with prospects, customers, partners, investors, shareholders—it’s all about breaking down barriers and forming these powerful connections that help move your business forward.
Q: What do you feel is incredibly critical for any brand leader who is building a new brand platform and campaign for their company?
A: For any brand leader to be successful, you must have the executive sponsorship of two people: your CEO and your CMO. You could be the most brilliant brand strategist in the world, but you will get nowhere without their executive sponsorship and support. You must be aligned with your CEO’s vision for the company, and you must have great synergy with your CMO’s go-to-market strategy and vision. At the end of the day, your brand platform needs to support corporate initiatives. That was incredibly important for me.
Q: What other partnerships are key?
A: Without a doubt, you need an incredibly strong synergy with your creative director. I consider brand strategy and creative to be two halves of the same body. One does not function well without the other. Media sponsorships are also key— being in the right place at the right time whether through sports sponsorships or through print and digital advertising. Having a partnership with your advertising lead, and a 360-degree strategy to get your brand name in front of the right audiences is critical. It definitely takes a village.
Q: What has been the most exciting part of building this new brand campaign?
A: We have an amazing team at RingCentral. Working with everyone was a lot of fun. Again, I reiterate, it took a village. To answer the question, what’s most exciting? It’s absolutely about making an impact. When you look back on your career and can say, “wow, together we changed the way our company positions itself to the world”—that’s pretty amazing.