No doubt about it; green is this season’s colour for corporate re-brands. It is being used in the Hewlett Packard Enterprise logo – because ‘I wanted us to stand apart’ says Meg Whitman – and in Neopost’s new branding, oh,
and also in Lexmark’s (see page 29). Aside from its environmental associations, green is popular as a symbol of growth and re-birth. This makes it an appropriate colour for all three companies. In Lexmark’s case, the re-brand is particularly welcome as it unites all of its activities – print hardware & supplies, MPS and enterprise software – under a single brand for the first time since the company’s acquisition of Perceptive Software in 2010. I wonder what colour logo Lexmark will choose when, 5, 10, 15 years down the line, it spins off its rump hardware business, HP-style, as a separate entity.
Re-brands are most successful when they are part of a clear narrative, as they are in the cases of Neopost and Lexmark. Both companies are positioning themselves as experts in business processes and document workflow (electronic and paper-based), whereas previously they had a much narrower focus. Until recently, Lexmark was still marketing itself as ‘The Print Experts’. To do so today is probably a sackable offence.
Many in the channel are going through the same process, expanding their offering to include solutions and services, as well as hardware. As they make this transition, one of the big challenges they face is finding employees with the right skills to sell, deliver and support more complex solutions – a task made more difficult by the UK’s much talked about skills crisis (see page 46). It is to the reseller community’s great credit that they are not using this as an excuse to stagnate, but are instead devoting significant resources to training and re-training staff and making their companies attractive and inspiring places to work. Whatever the colour of their logo
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