Where did you start?
We tested our current customer base. We operate in eight critical verticals, so we also did research on our brand in each of those markets, not only understanding whether they knew Honeywell, but what they knew about Honeywell, how they rated us as a brand, how they rated us compared to our peers. We really got an in-depth view within each of the industries of what our brand meant and where we ranked against peers in those key verticals.
What was the “aha” moment in the research phase?
The biggest “aha” moment was how powerfully people related to the technology innovations that we’ve had and have. Going into it, there was a lot of anecdotal input from leadership that we needed to reinvent and focus on the future and disregard what was in the past. The research showed how strong our customer base connected to key technologies.
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When we brought that to bear to leadership, not only were they thrilled, but it also spurred something that was going to bring fruit to bear in the next months ahead, which was getting our employee base excited by telling our own story and their story as part of our brand package. That was probably the biggest next phase.
What was the next phase?
The research strategy and recommendations were: Do not take away what you've done in the past. Use it as ammunition for how you are starting to build your strategy of the future. We’re very, very proud of the fact that we helped the space shuttle fly every single one of its missions. We've been on every mission to the moon that there ever was. We ended up building a campaign all about how our technology has survived all of those things and is now going to put somebody into Mars in the next 20 years, which is pretty exciting.
How did you involve employees?
Honeywell has 100,000-plus employees around the world, and the best thing we did in this entire campaign is build our brand campaign starting with them, our ambassadors to customers in every region of the globe with the best ability to tell our story in the way that's necessary. All of the content in Year One was employees talking about the technologies that they're supporting.
What did the campaign look like?
We built a campaign called “The Future Is What We Make It.” We put our employees in a position where they were making the future through building technologies and innovating in many ways. We had 12 different employees from around the world and across each of the verticals. We launched each of their campaigns separately in different parts of the world and in different verticals and started to build a tremendous buzz through that employee base that pre-launched the overall media campaign by about two or three weeks.
What’s are the benefits of running an employee-led campaign?
One of the other things that this brand campaign is doing is making sure that we are positioning ourselves to recruit the employee of the future. We are more and more a software company, and we are going after the software technologist that is so in demand right now across so many industries. We know that they're looking to be in a company that's exciting, a company made up of people that look like them, that’s excited about technologies like them. A lot of the campaign aimed at the recruitment side of things as well.
How did you launch it to the market?
A couple of weeks later, we launched through social and digital and did customer events with some of the key customers who were featured in the program. About a month later, we launched TV spots that ran all in the U.S. for about four months. Then we launched in China about three months later with a significant digital-only program. Next was a similar one three months after that in the Middle East in English and Arabic.
What are the key measurements?
We looked at several KPIs and I’ve seen progress across the board. Brand familiarity numbers, both as a tech company and a software company, have gone up significantly each year. We've seen double-digit increases since the campaign started. On the recruitment side, we've seen increased percentage come through branded programming. We've also seen Honeywell employee engagement increase. Pride in your company and those types of data points. While we can't necessarily take full credit from a brand campaign standpoint, I certainly think that it aligns at least partially to it.
Have you seen business metrics improve as well?
We have a healthy program that measures demand and lead generation through marketing channels. We've seen significant double-digit increases year-over-year in both pipeline and marketing-based revenue. It's a combination of better brand, better marketing that’s helping us through it. It's not just the fact that the brand itself drives this, but we're also building better campaigns, delivering better, targeting and segmenting our audience better. In the end, it's delivering for the business what's necessary.
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