ABB (Asea Brown Boveri)
Maria Jobin’s role for the past several years has been to bring the ABB brand to life through a major re-branding effort in 100+ countries and to drive preference across cultures. While the company’s history dates back to the 19th century, today ABB is the world’s largest builder of electricity grids and is active in many sectors, with a core businesses emphasis in power and automation technologies. Her biggest consideration was how to reposition ABB for the future, while finding common ground among all divisions to communicate to a broader audience.
Further complicating her formidable task was ABB’s matrix structure comprised of over 5000 profit centers, each with global responsibilities and significant marketing freedom. Plus the company had also acquired 800 companies around the world during the last decade, resulting in many different uses of the brand. Plus, the company produces over 250,000 products—ranging in cost from a single dollar to billions of dollars.
Fortunately the company’s bold red logo was strong, and most sectors were using it. It was ABB’s only identifying element, but Ms. Jobin saw it as a great opportunity to make a consistent difference. It also became clear that ABB needed to build on its heritage and strength, while also emphasizing leading edge technology, its engineering-focus, and superior product quality. The result was a new tagline: “Power and productivity for a better world.”
According to Ms. Jobin, “Branding business-to-consumer or business-to- business products has similar functions, but different priorities. B2C’s first priority is image, while B2B’s is trust. ABB’s re-branding journey focused on reputation and trust.” And the broader results from these efforts? There has been 69% uplift on brand metrics associated with ABB’s rebranding.