Below is a selection of case histories where I have either led the project or been the European lead in a global team.
Creating One Online Global News Platform for 12 Brands in 30 Languages in 40 Countries
GM’s media sites are the main online resource to connect with journalists around the globe. GM had a number of product brands, each with strong, individual identities. Journalists often had a different user experience depending on location and brand. There were different agencies involved working on different content management systems. Several content repositories. No global strategy. Difficult to reuse content. No integration with other publishing platforms. The definition of media was changing with an increasing recognition that online influence goes beyond “traditional” media.
Create one news site for GM brands globally with a common user experience. Local language. Allow some customisation based on local needs. Customisation to be implemented centrally. Use one common design but allow for brand cues. Common Digital Asset Management. One CMS. Global governance structure. Allow for self-publishing. Facilitate social media content sharing. Integrate social media. Use Creative Commons licence for content including photos and video. Use responsive design. In Europe, GM’s media site needs to serve visitors in 34 countries in 24 languages.
Repositioning a Brand
EDGE Strategy in Switzerland is the commercial arm of the EDGE Certified Foundation. EDGE Strategy markets an Assessment Methodology and proprietary online tool to help companies close the corporate gender gap. The two entities have identical CI yet EDGE Strategy and EDGE Certified Foundation have very different roles. An online search for EDGE would include two virtually identical websites- one for the Foundation and one for the commercial arm.
Instead of positioning EDGE Strategy as a consulting company, position the product it markets- EDGE Certification as lead brand. All marketing collateral to focus on the product and not the legal entities.
Countering Rumour and Misinformation
The automotive industry was severely impacted by the global financial crisis, especially GM, Ford and Chrysler. GM filed for Chapter 11 reorganisation in June 2009. This reorganisation was a US action yet there was concern from employees, dealers, suppliers and customers about the impact on GM’s european brands. This concern was fuelled by media speculation and misinformation circulating online. Stakeholders needed reassurance that Europe was “business as usual” during the filing in the US.
Create a Facts and fiction website that would serve as an internal and external repository for all the facts and to counter misinformation and rumour. Include fact sheets, Q&A’s and links to credible third-party sources. Promote the site internally and externally.