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Dell’s Erin Nelson and Karen Quintos

October 15, 2010

By Guest Blogger Joshua Kidd, Siemens Corp.

Back for my second post of the day and this time we have Erin Nelson and Karen Quintos from Dell Inc. They have the unenviable task of bringing the audience back to life following lunch when their second helping of coffee hasn't quite set in yet, or at least that's how I'm feeling.

For their session the focus was on how a brand can build and nurture an identity that endures. This question necessitated itself because while Dell had experienced a great deal of growth and development over the last couple of years many inside the company believed their best days were behind them based on increased competition in the space.  Compounding this problem was that with this growth came unintended consequences like a splintered company message and lack of consistency in brand image.

The first step in addressing this problem was deciding what the company's purpose was and in order to do that they looked to their customers. The feedback here, which has been discussed in at least 3 other sessions today, was that the consumers want to know "how this helps me, the consumer" rather than "How great you, the company, are." It's this philosophy that drives the overall purpose of the company, which is to delivery technology that helps people achieve more. In doing so Dell is able to match what they're good at with what the world needs.

However, in what is a bit of a change of pace from the rest of the discussion here at the ANA conference, the focus of this campaign, at least initially, was internal employee communications and branding, rather than external advertising. By doing so, you help create some of the greatest ambassadors a brand can have, a motivated and engaged work force, which not only drives the bottom line but also helps with talent acquisition, or as Erin put it, "Marketing becomes the new HR."

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