Today I want to examine the HP Let’s Do Amazing campaign:
First I want to congratulate HP on the campaign. They highlight the power of solutions - to differentiate themselves with a powerful, substantiated message, and keep the commercials interesting and novel. From a practical point of view, this is an excellent example of explaining to the world the power of True
Solutions™ that pull through HP hardware and software.
Although we have all seen companies produce ad-campaigns that place their company’s solutions ability ahead of their reality - in this case HP created, sold and implemented the solution.
Let’s first discuss the power of the ad campaign. What does it do?
- Differentiation. The campaign places them above many other technology providers - Dell, Sony, Toshiba etc. as having more to offer. So many conversations in the major-account technology sector that HP plays in are about price/discounts etc. HP is stating that for its major B2B accounts it is something different. They offer True Solutions™ and are an intimate partner in solving problems and bringing new ideas to the accounts.
- Intimacy. Reveals a level of intimacy with clients - they solved a true issue or provided a new opportunity. The ad shows that HP is working with the account to solve real problems not just selling existing products to the account. You get the feel of a partnership facing the world of competition together.
- Vertical/customer-centric business model. Shows that HP has industry expertise in business and can provide concrete ideas to solve real problems. Further, it shows an outside-in strategy. Finally, the success was driven not by great sales but by great account intimacy (trust us we know and care), consulting (finding the answer) and delivery (making it work).
- Repositioning. Places HP’s B2B business offerings as a worthy IBM, Accenture competitor. Once you are successful in the Intimacy EngineTM and have a successful portfolio of solutions you want to reposition your company away from old competitors towards the people you want to be compared to. Get prospects to think: “We should consider HP.”
- Credibility. Provides a halo-effect for other vertical account discussions, an intro for further solution discussions across industries. It gives credibility to HP’s solution business.
Again, we do not suggest any firm build an ad campaign ahead of its ability to deliver on the True
Solutions™ promise. But if we take the HP ad and determine their position we might find things that help you on your journey.
Are they in the Form stage? The Form stage is all about early success. Getting your company comfortable with the new model (getting out of its way if you will), producing success in getting market participation strategy, selecting an initial portfolio and offer, taking it to market and getting some success to build upon - a pilot if you will. Clearly HP has chosen key or major accounts within verticals to focus upon. Further, they have successes to show case and the broader company must understand the Customer
Intimacy Engine™ business model or the idea of the ad campaign would never have got momentum within the company. So we can easily determine that they are not in the Form Phase.
Are they in the Commercialize phase? This phase is all about proving that the model makes commercial sense for the company - building a critical mass of solution creation, delivery, and account management resources to drive meaningful revenue (at least in sections of the business) and pull through their other products - the ones they push to market today. Clearly HP can pull through hardware and software; the ads show this explicitly. Also, they have the critical mass for the vertical and the key accounts but they have more - they have accepted the business model as the way they do business for at least the major accounts of HP. Therefore they are further along than the Commercialization phase.
Are they in the Scale phase? The scale phase is about making this the way you do business (at least for the appropriate segments of your business). The account management, R&D, business management, go to market, HR, Finance functions have all aligned in the business model and there is no more internal fighting about should we do this and will this work and why is this different etc. Further, it is about fast growth of the model to be the driver of traditional product sales throughout the segments that are affected. HP appears to be on top of these issues and has made the decision about business model and is confident enough to reposition its B2B business accordingly. Therefore I think they are firmly in the Scale phase and are trying to move to the Dominate phase.
Again, I believe HP has put together a very impactful way to announce to the world in clear and interesting fashion where they are and where they are going. Also, you should look at your company to see where you are and determine if you can move faster to the safe and profitable ground the HP appears to have found.