Viewing brand as an experience

Interbrand develops the Xerox Brand Training Refresh

 

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Brand Training Refresh

Executives at Xerox were excited to see the company moving forward with its vibrant new brand platform, “Ready for Real Business.” However, four years had passed since Xerox had conducted internal brand training. This meant many employees were unfamiliar with best practices for voice, messaging, visual identity and other important tools, even as the success of the new platform would depend greatly on their ability to use them.

A need for training was first pinpointed by employees themselves during an in-depth brand governance study conducted by Interbrand. Such studies evaluate brand management processes through a unique blend of process mapping and in-depth interviews, allowing strengths and weaknesses of the brand management framework to be revealed. The results of the Xerox study clearly indicated that better understanding of the brand internally would be an important step to more effective brand management, both inside and outside of the company.

The recent acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), a leading business process outsourcer, also made it a good time for Xerox to act. ACS employees and other recently hired Xerox workers could receive from-the-ground-up brand orientation, while longstanding employees could brush up on their understanding of the Xerox brand.

In an effort to help employees gain the understanding they needed, Interbrand created the Xerox Brand Training Refresh—a program to be deployed in-person to employees and company affiliates at several Xerox offices worldwide. The Refresh combined a solid understanding of the company’s longstanding approach to brand with the latest advances—the new platform, its tone of voice and messaging. Overall, it sought to help employees see beyond buzzwords and logos to instead view their brand as an experience.

Toward that end, Jeff Dawson, Interbrand’s Director of Brand Management Systems, joined with Tracy Yelencsics, a Xerox vice president, to lead half-day sessions at offices in eight major cities worldwide. Participants received a thorough brand overview before breaking into working groups to practice writing in the Xerox voice and style. Each left the session with their own copy of the training slides, a series of quick-reference brand guides, and a brochure highlighting the presentation’s fundamentals.

Since buy-in from employees was critical for the Refresh to succeed, Xerox was pleased to find highly engaged audiences at the sessions. Employees joined in lively question-and-answer exchanges, and enjoyed the chance for hands-on experience with brand elements. In a follow-up survey, 60 percent of respondents described the training as “good,” while 40 percent—nearly 400 of almost 1,000 participants—called it “excellent.”

The training not only opened lines of communication between Xerox and former ACS employees, but also provided Xerox with valuable post-training feedback, which led to further improvements. Additionally, we helped Xerox adapt the training to e-learning modules for their brand portal, allowing thousands of other employees to learn about Xerox’s brand perspective anywhere, anytime.