"What was particularly challenging here was going from those comforting [Baby Bell] brands to a dramatically different one," Mr. Gordon says. "This merger, unlike others before it, was transformational." Even the name-Verizon-marked a huge departure and leap of faith for the telco.
As president-retail markets, Mr. Gordon sits on the front lines of Verizon marketing. Earlier this year, Verizon consolidated more than $600 million in ad spending at Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe Lintas& Partners Worldwide, New York. Within a year of the merger, 98% of the Verizon marketplace was familiar with the new brand.
"We came at it with the most aggressive launch," Mr. Gordon says. And it appears to have paid off. A study conducted by the company in January, less than a year after its launch, found that Verizon stacked up against the likes of such power brands as FedEx and Coca-Cola, achieving the highest overall brand recall.