Chicago—Building a global brand from the inside out was the topic of discussion at the Business Marketing Association Marketing Innovators luncheon seminar here Thursday. Helen McIntosh, global director-marketing communications at ingredient solutions company Ingredion Inc., led the presentation, detailing the company's recent path to a successful internal and external rebranding campaign.
Following Corn Products International's acquisition of National Starch in 2010, the company's leadership wanted to take the two legacy businesses and create a modern brand with greater overall value.
“We needed a new, modern umbrella brand, a distinctive and meaningful name to take us forward, to really position us,” McIntosh said.
Working with b-to-b agency Avenue, Chicago, the company set out to do just that.
For the new Ingredion, a $6.5 billion company with more than 11,000 employees in 40 countries, creating the new name and logo was the relatively easy part. The challenge, according to McIntosh, was building the brand from the inside out. To do this, Ingredion held brand engagement sessions for all employees, explaining the company's values and identity.
“You can't live the brand externally unless you live and breathe the values internally,” McIntosh said.
The engagement sessions focused on what McIntosh called “the three Cs,” or making employees on all levels feel clear, confident and connected.
“We need all 11,000 people in our organization to feel these things,” McIntosh said. “We needed to show them that this wasn't a marketing gimmick, it wasn't a crazy, harebrained idea from the C-suite. This was the way our customers needed to interact with us.”
With successful internal engagement, Ingredion last year began rolling out the new brand in a global marketing campaign, created by Slack & Co., Chicago, that included trade shows, advertising and online outreach to connect with customers. Initial campaign creative used the tagline “A new day is coming” on all material worldwide. As different regions transitioned to the Ingredion name, the company ran videos and advertising aimed at reintroducing its core values and the features of the new brand.
“We've moved from unknown to being credible in a short amount of time,” McIntosh said. “We're approaching differentiated but we're not there yet, and we're not complacent.”
McIntosh pointed to Ingredion's stock price, which recently hit a 52-week high—at $74.31 in April after a low of $45.30 in July of last year—as one indicator of the campaign's success.
“We really made two and two equal five,” McIntosh said.