Michael Mendenhall

Published on .

Title: Senior VP-CMO
Company: Hewlett-Packard Co.
Years in current job: 3
Quote: “Over the last two years, we have gone through multiple transformations within our corporate marketing group, and we are now seeing the benefits of our new strategy and focus.”

Michael Mendenhall, who has served as senior VP-CMO at Hewlett-Packard Co. for three years, has overseen the transformation of the brand from a hardware company to a solutions-focused business.

“A year or two ago, one of the biggest challenges we faced was the scale and scope of the company and our large portfolio of products and services,” said Mendenhall, who joined HP in 2007 after serving as exec VP-marketing and communications at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

“A lot of people saw us as a printing and hardware company, but we are a solutions company,” he said, pointing to HP offerings such as managed print services, business processes and IT management software. “This year, we finally started to showcase who the company is and the breadth of our services.”

Mendenhall directed the launch this year of a $40 million brand campaign, “Let's Do Amazing,” aimed at businesses and consumers. The campaign, developed by 72andSunny, Los Angeles, includes TV, print, radio and online. The ads show how HP is helping customers, such as photographer Annie Leibovitz, United Parcel Service of America and The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.

“We had the known attributes of quality, reliability and trust—which are very good attributes—but we wanted to own ones to differentiate the company in a major way, such as being brave, optimistic and innovative,” Mendenhall said. “That became an important piece of the overall storytelling, to showcase the depth and breadth and scope of HP.”

The ads feature New Zealand comedian Rhys Darby, who interviews HP customers about the different ways they're using HP technology to run their businesses. The campaign was rolled out internally to HP's employees before its public debut in March. HP used social media, including blogs, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to share the campaign with employees.

“In today's world, where you need complete transparency, one of the most important constituencies is your employee base,” Mendenhall said. “Customers listen to what your employees say about your products and services. We want our employees to really believe and adopt the idea of this brand that is being redefined.”

Approximately two-thirds of HP's employees passed the campaign along through e-mail, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, and, of that group, about one-third posted the campaign to their Facebook profiles. “We had over 6 million unique [users] engage with the campaign before we ever spent money in traditional media outlets,” Mendenhall said.

Another important effort this year for Mendenhall was strengthening HP's sports marketing partnerships, including its multiyear agreement with the National Basketball Association and a new sponsorship of the Davis Cup tennis tournament.

All of these efforts are paying off for HP, as the company this year broke into the top 10 of Interbrand's ranking of best global brands. It was also No. 1 on Corporate Responsibility Magazine's annual list of 100 Best Corporate Citizens.

—Kate Maddox

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