For the last year, Caroline Mulloy led the brand transformation effort at Syniverse, the company at the heart of mobile connectivity and digital transformation.
Launched in September, Syniverse’s new tagline is “The World’s Most Connected Company,” and Caroline Mulloy, VP of Brand at Syniverse, says connections are important for businesses no matter how you define it, whether it’s internet of things, human connectivity, 5G, or digital transformation. Syniverse connects more people and devices than anyone on Earth. It needed a brand that represents its identity in the context of today’s innovation-focused customers, and communicates the value of its portfolio offerings.
In our interview, we dive deep into the research process and outcomes of the brand transformation.
Tell us about the brand transformation at Syniverse.
It’s a transformation that is internal and external. It’s more than a logo treatment and colors. We’re simplified and transformed our core purpose.
How can we motivate employees to be a part of this transformation, because ultimately you’re only as strong as your employees. We can define the most beautiful brand guidelines, but it has to go all the way through to the point of engagement with customers.
We redefined our company values, answering important questions. Why are we here? Why do we come to work every day? How do we need to act internally in order to be perceived as authentic to our customers?
This includes employee trainings on our purpose and what certain behaviors mean for our perception. Our teams are happy to be united around a positive story and contribute to the new brand.
Describe the research phase of the Syniverse brand transformation.
Research was our most extensive phase. We did quantitative and qualitative research, interviewing customers and prospective customers. For the latter group, we studied their awareness levels.
For both groups, we asked what drives their buying decisions for our type of service offerings. We studied their buying criteria, too.
For customers, we gathered feedback on their interactions and experiences with our brand. What are we doing well? Where are we not doing well at? These are the questions we wanted to understand.
This research equips us with the ability to deliver on customer needs. We were also future-looking, understanding what matters most to our customers. This allowed us to develop a brand that marries the future needs of our customers with our strengths. Our strengths include our global reach, subject matter expertise, and security features.
Most of all, the research helped us create an authentic brand that meets today’s market demands.
What were your brand research findings?
There were areas customers wanted or valued that we were already delivering on. There were other elements where we needed to improve upon. For example, we received feedback that we needed to be more agile. They wanted us to be leaders and innovators.
That was from customers who worked with us and that’s what they are looking for in a partner.
We took this to heart. So we launched our Innovations Lab. Here we bring in our customers and give them the opportunity to work with us and see cutting-edge technology.
We saw an emphasis on security, which we’ve been known for in the past, but we can always do more. So we recently launched Syniverse Secure Global Access, which is a secure network offering, in response to that feedback.
This brand transformation allows us to evolve and be the partner customers desire and double down on our customer focus.
What was the context or what spurred the brand transformation?
We have a lot of products and services, and our message was a little confusing. It was hard to understand what we did. In the past we marketed to mobile network operators, who have a better understanding of our products and services.
Today, as we continue to grow and expand our business with new products, we will encounter many new buyer personas and enter new markets.
For new buyers, we need to take a step back and make sure we clearly communicate the value we deliver. That includes our top level message, brand architecture, portfolio organization, and the language we use. We can use technical language at times, and we need to make sure we are speaking in a way that is accessible to everyone.
That’s one reason for the brand transformation.
What are the keys to success for marketing leaders pursuing a similar transformation?
With a company-wide transformation, it’s important to assemble a small core team from different areas of the business. I had seven, and that team worked with me throughout the process, including choosing the agency and launching.
Some people have been at Syniverse for a long time, some people were new, different departments. It’s important to get their buy-in from the beginning.
Working with the executive team is critical. We were lucky enough to have an executive team that actively participated during meetings. I’m sure they wondered why I was making so many calendar requests, but we had a lot of wonderful sessions, sharing ideas and feedback on who we wanted to evolve into.
That was critical; it was the foundation for everything. Having that relationship was super important to achieving our goal. Having the CEO, CMO, and head of HR aligned around these internal and external changes helped us move at the pace we did.
Tell us more about the Innovation Lab.
Innovation is a core part of our brand. We heard it loud and clear that our customers want us to bring them new ideas, and they want a proactive partner that is on the edge of new trends. That is core to who we are, and it’s why we launched our Innovation Lab.
It was also an opportunity to formalize our product innovation process. It relates to being more agile as well. We are now working with customers more closely in our labs to move faster on new ideas, and getting them out the door.
The lab is a place where customers and partners can come together, try new things, fail fast and deliver the latest concepts in global connectivity.
Our Secure Global Access network underpins the lab itself. For example, a company specializing in drone control systems tested their systems on our secure network. The impressive element about our lab is that it houses real technologies you can touch. This is the embodiment of our new brand and what we deliver.