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B2B | Universal Robots
Universal Robots and Sunrise have enjoyed a successful collaboration for the last three years. The partnership began back in 2017 when Universal Robots, together with Sunrise initiated a strategic branding project that resulted in launching the brand platform and vision, “Empowering People”. Today the relationship is still going strong, but how and why did the partnership begin and what can we learn from this in-depth transition from robot manufacturer to market-leading brand?
Ground-breaking Category Creators
Universal Robots (UR) is the market leader in industrial collaborative robots – flexible robots that collaborate with people in the manufacturing industry. They have over 29 offices worldwide, distribution in more than 50 countries and employ approximately 680 employees globally. UR sold their first collaborative robot or ‘cobot’ in 2008. To date over 42,000 cobots have been sold and the company has laid claim to approximately 50% of global market share. In 2018, they grew by 38% with a turnover of approximately 1.5 billion Danish kroner. UR has therefore experienced incredible growth since its establishment driven by a ground-breaking, category-creating product with a clear first mover advantage. However, as Universal Robots found such a rapid trajectory can come with its own set of challenges.
“Empowering People” has engaged staff and transformed business
Increase in employee engagement*
Lead costs optimization**
* ‘Fiery advocates’ (High dedication & Faithfullness) / **2018
Rapid expansion and regional autonomy threaten future growth
Naturally, for any company experiencing double to triple digit topline and employee growth year in year out, focusing on setting up shop in new markets, getting distributors on board and a sharp new sales orientation, Universal Robots realized that they had reached a point, where it was time to stop and think of what could take their branding and marketing efforts to the next level commercially. In other words, it was time to calibrate and consolidate.
Consequently, the management at UR decided that to continue strengthening the business commercially, a marketing-organizational transition was needed. With the mindset of creating one brand, one look and one message the following goals were set in place:
Harmonious and consistent
Standardization of processes,
technology and strategy
Global control and coordination
of marketing effort for maximised impact
Comparable data and KPIs
across markets and channels
Jesper Termansen, Global Marketing Director (former)
This commercial transition required two components – a clear, on point brand platform and an effective global go to market strategy. It was the process of establishing a brand platform that Universal Robots brought in Sunrise to help them with.
Defining the brand from company, customer and market perspectives
Creating the brand platform was all about extracting the DNA of Universal Robots – the Why? What? Who? and How? And translating this into a brand and communication platform that could be used to tell one consistent story globally. By triangulating company, target group and market insights the essence of Universal Robots was distilled, and a value proposition and position created, forming the basis of an exclusive brand story and main purpose of “Empowering People”
More than simply automation, Universal Robots changes how people work and live around the globe by empowering their ideas and dreams. This was a brand statement that UR as a company could stand for, that their customers would be attracted to, and that would stand out in the market as truly distinct. By democratizing automation to the millions standing on the factory floor, we would be pushing humanity forward. “Empowering People” is an emotional philosophy about making the impossible possible for businesses all over the world. It is a universal story that people will never tire of, making it a perfect banner under which to unite a global organization moving forward.
Following the success of uniting the organization under one story, implementation of the story was now vital. This had to happen both internally within the organization and externally to the rest of the world.
Anchoring the brand message internally was vital. Together with UR, Sunrise created a brand toolbox that could be used to roll out the message effectively. This included on-screen employee testimonials, a brand book, roll-ups, posters and a range of other communication resources. In a B2B world where employees are one of the company’s key assets for communicating the brand, internal implementation was essential.
Externally the next step was developing a scalable marketing toolbox to secure consistent activation of the brand across all countries, platforms and media. All in all, a marketing machine was created, along with Kragen Media and other partners, which adapted to the individual needs of the countries, while at the same time securing the newly established brand objectives and one consistent brand message.
One brand, one look, one message – “Empowering People”
Of course, the brand transition is an ongoing task that requires constant efforts to grow the brand in the hearts and minds of customers and drive business. Yet, the results of the collaboration between Sunrise and UR can clearly be seen.
At all levels of the organization “brand buy-in” can be seen as a result of our internal activation. This has created a close-knit internal movement that can be spread externally.
A global brand experience with consistent form and expression has been created across all markets and touchpoints through numerous global campaigns and sales concepts.
For Universal Robots, a relevant, differentiated brand message and objective has been created that is constantly anchored by internal activation and external campaigns. While the mission to grow brand equity continues, the endeavour to affect a transition from robot manufacturer to market-leading brand has undoubtedly materialised.
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