CMO Impact
Leading a Culture of Innovation as a Growth CMO

Antonio Lucio of HP Shows You How to be a Transformation Leader

Averi Melcher
June 01, 2016

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HP is in the middle of a reinvention. The well-known brand recently split into two separate companies and is looking to reframe the way they think about everything – on every level.

“We had to define what this new company is going to stand for. We had to ask ourselves: How much of our heritage and legacy do we want to keep, and what do we want to shed,” said Antonio Lucio, CMO of HP, during a mainstage discussion at The CMO Club Spring Summit in April.

Working with a long list of global brands, Lucio is no stranger to leading large-scale transformation. When implementing a big change, he said “there will always be the intellectual marketing process. But, in order for transformation to truly work, you must feel it on a personal level.”

He brought this sentiment to his CEO early on during a private meeting about the company’s rebranding. He presented an “easy way:” bringing in top agencies, putting together a media plan and creating a marketing initiative.Then, he presented the “hard way:” Making the mission statement a mission in itself. Working and committing on every level to build on the existing brand equity and create a modern company that shifts with the times.

Choosing option two, the team began an eight-month process that resulted in the message: “Keep Reinventing.” Here are the lessons Lucio wanted to share with other CMOs:

Start with Your History

HP has more than 76 years of innovation, ideas and back-room scribbles to draw from, and Lucio made it a point to use this wealth of resources. He started back at the beginning, visiting the original offices of William Hewlett and David Packard to draw inspiration from the people that started it all. By reading their notes, he was able to understand the very first vision for HP – and figure out how to carry that vision into the future.

Talk to Your People

Before looking at any numbers, Lucio and his team wanted to understand how others see the brand. They enlisted 10,000 employees to answer the question: “What do we want to be remembered by?”

“I think the most transformative part of that process was the 1-on-1 interviews I had with senior leaders of the company. We also interviewed more than 200 global thought-leaders,” said Lucio.

From those interviews, the 3-part statement, “We create technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere,” was born.

Understand the How

A vision statement can become an empty promise without understanding and articulating how you plan to achieve it. Enter: the brand mission. Lucio said the statement his team developed – “engineer experiences that amaze” – was not one the company or its employees take lightly. In fact, they carefully considered the magnitude and meaning of every word they were promising to deliver on.

“We had to think, are we engineers – like our founders – or are we salespeople – like we have been in the past? Are we about products, or are we about experiences? Then that last word – amaze. We cannot honestly say that, in our current portfolio, every product is truly amazing,” said Lucio. “That triggered a fundamental change in the way we create technology, conduct sales and provide customer service.”

Find the Customer Truth

After spending months honing in on what Lucio called the ‘brand truth,’ HP needed to establish who this message was for.

Historically, the brand had been out of touch with the 68% of their customers who were identified as Old Millennials (ages 28-34). Researching the behavior of this demographic across the globe, Lucio and his team found they are universally invested in transforming every aspect of their lives – both at home and at work. In fact, they want to live one life seamlessly, and they do it with the help of new technologies.

That insight was the one that brought the marketing strategy full-circle, aligning both the company and the customer truths in those two powerful words: “Keep Reinventing.”

“Consumers are reinventing themselves. And HP is reinventing its brands,” said Lucio.

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