Better Together: marketing lessons from one of the major acquisitions in Energy & Tech (the abstract)

In January 2014 the industrial automation giant Schneider Electric acquired Invensys plc thus expanding its product offering in the field of Control Systems, Software and Services. As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including energy and infrastructure, industrial processes, building and data centers/networks, and a broad presence in residential applications.

With this acquisition, Schneider Electric has significantly enhanced its position as a provider of Energy management solutions integrating power and automation. In fact, the acquisition of Invensys has provided Schneider Electric with a strong portfolio of complementary products in several sectors including the Oil and Gas one – and competency in Cybersecurity management.

From a branding perspective Invensys brought several independent brands which had to be integrated within Schneider Electric’s portfolio. The team in charge of the integration process had to define a path for each brand that had to be consistent with the Schneider Electric one-brand strategy, which is based on customer install base, geographical scope and overall brand equity.

The communication plan was tailored to the customers and channels and the communication assets were generated with a special focus to customer types. Communications plan included an integrated marketing campaign (“Better Together”) that was launched in September 2014 and which used Social Media channels to ramp up and reach the right audience.

The session will go through the most relevant steps of the acquisition, and will focus on marketing and communications approach explaining the decisions taken on branding, communication and campaigns. Real-case scenario’s examples and a Q&A session will complete and close the session.

Uber and the sharing economy

Because of my personal and professional habits I have been exposed to the sharing economy and its services, since the beginning. I have been using Uber in London, Paris and Milan; I have been watched airbnb, I have investigated other apps and services (the new parking apps).

Uber, my first experience and attempt to understand more. I am still using the service and I have been watching the protests raised all over the globe, so close to me, in Milan, Paris, now London in a few days, against the new service. Change always brings pain, and Uber represents change. And it’s not just Uber: there is a new plethora of smart-phone apps that will bring  a driver to your door in a few minutes. All tentative of resistances from old European super-regulated lobbies – taxies are just the most visible example – won’t change their fate. As Archie Bland commented, on his article on the Independent few days ago:

Uber argument that the regulation of most taxi markets is based on a model that smartphones have made irrelevant, seems credible. And it’s hard to escape the feeling that whatever bumps may be in the road, Uber is an idea that has fundamentally changed things, and that sooner or later, the black cab as we know it will be extinct.

It’s would be smarter, at this stage, to fight and compete on the same ground instead of preparing to fight useless battles.

Uber could be killed so easily from a so massive quantity of cabbies in London and taxis in Paris and Milan, re-adapting and using its same technology weapon, and making advantage of a better presence in the territory and a competitive price. But taxi drivers have chosen to fight using old tactics and weapons: strikes and protests. They are not focusing on customer satisfaction and benefits. They are instead putting all efforts in a desperate defence of their old (even if regulated by local laws) privileges.

At the very end, I am aware about Uber’s premium price but I am too aware about his tremendous efficiency. And I make my choice based on two main criteria: the ubiquitous use of credit cards, and the easy-to-use app with its stylish info-maps.

Only one cab over 6-7 (I’m personally making this statistic) accepts credit cards in London. Some of them state to accept cards and then apparently discover that the machine doesn’t work, once at destination. Same situation in Milan, where at least radio-taxis are starting to be equipped with card machines – emails and apps still represent the future.

It’s not just Uber. Still Mr. Bland on the subject:

They all (sharing services, my note) propose to remove the middle man, but even that’s sort of old hat: eBay and the like have been doing it for years. What’s new is the promise to exploit spare capacity with a structure that means that anyone can be a business (…). This is happening; it’s unstoppable. I guess the sharing economy, or a version of it, became inevitable from the moment that Steve Jobs presented the first iPhone.

The Circle

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Just started, its about global companies, social media and privacy, it seems a great reading. Excerpt from the NYT:

The outpouring of ideas is central to The Circle, as it is in part a novel of ideas. What sort of ideas? Ideas about the social construction and deconstruction of privacy, and about the increasing corporate ownership of privacy, and about the effects such ownership may have on the nature of Western democracy. Dissemination of information is power, as the old yellow-journalism newspaper proprietors knew so well. What is withheld can be as potent as what is disclosed, and who can lie publicly and get away with it is determined by gatekeepers: thus, in the Internet age, code-owners have the keys to the kingdom.

LinkedOut

Funny enough, I’ve changed yesterday current company with the acquiring company name on my LinkedIn profile and my inbox got flowed by tens of messages of congratulations for “my ability to grow my career” or for “the great success in my life”. I opted out now and changes to my profile will no longer be visible to readers, but I wonder if this will stop LinkedIn sending out emails with ‘my’ news. This is just idiot.