The company asked BrandingBusiness to address four critical questions:
A global technology leader finds a new brand vision for the future.
Since its founding in 1974 as a reseller of supplies, Tech Data had steadily grown into a $35 billion distributor of IT products and services.
In 2015, the Fortune 100 company stood at a strategic crossroads in its search for continued growth. The global IT industry had bifurcated into two specialist areas: volume and value-added. Tech Data closely trailed Ingram Micro in the volume business in terms of revenue, while Arrow and AvnetTS were the recognized leaders in the more technical, value-added space. Further, digital transformation was reshaping the landscape: The physical and virtual worlds were becoming increasingly intermeshed, giving rise to a hybrid model of IT consumption and a shift in buying behaviors.
Tech Data CEO Bob Dutkowsky saw this as an opportunity to reshape Tech Data—and the IT industry itself. In a bold move, Tech Data acquired AvnetTS, a division of Avnet, to become the world’s largest end-to-end technology distributor, one that could meet the demands of the evolving marketplace.
- Was the Tech Data brand powerful enough to span this new, end-to-end proposition—or was a second brand necessary to represent the value-added end of the business? (The Avnet name was not part of the acquisition.)
- Tech Data had a legacy brand in EMEA called Azlan, a value-added competitor to Arrow and AvnetTS. Did that brand have a role in the new company—and the strength to represent the added-value business globally?
- Historically, Tech Data had no presence in Asia Pacific, while Avnet was well known and respected. What was the right brand strategy for that market?
- What were the possible pitfalls and available remedies for combining what were, potentially, different operational cultures?
Through our proprietary, evidence-based research methodologies, we uncovered the best path forward for the brand, empowering the company’s management with the strategic clarity needed to support its new direction. Among the activities in our research efforts:
- A global qualitative and quantitative assessment that identified the best positioning opportunity for the Tech Data brand vis-à-vis its global competitors and in close alignment with customer requirements and market dynamics.
- A rigorous brand portfolio analysis that determined the brand architecture model, taxonomy and nomenclature that best expressed the company’s new value proposition.
- A global cultural assessment in more than 15 languages enabled us to identify critical differences between Tech Data and the acquired company; understand meaningful characteristics across businesses and countries; and to develop a change management plan and new company values.
Working closely with the company’s acquisition integration team and global brand council, BrandingBusiness developed and implemented a new brand strategy, launched just six months after the close of the acquisition. Accompanying this was a new brand positioning and corporate narrative that articulated the strategic importance of the new Tech Data.
Based on global research in 12 markets, BrandingBusiness recommended a Tech Data Masterbrand strategy rooted in an overarching new corporate narrative. A simplified brand architecture framed Tech Data as an integrated enterprise—a global, one-brand culture that was greater than the sum of its parts. We also developed purpose, vision, mission and value statements to hold the company on its new course.
Lastly, we created an evolved visual language and identity system, which reintroduced the new Tech Data with fresh relevance, and a comprehensive messaging platform to guide customer, employee and corporate communications around the world.
With reach, capabilities and resources that span the technology continuum, Tech Data today is the vital link in the IT channel, delivering the insights and optimized solutions the industry needs to move forward.
“While the Tech Data name and logo are not changing, we have established a single global brand that capitalizes on the full reach, efficiency, and technical expertise of our new combined organization. Tech Data will now operate as a unified brand in all of its markets throughout the world.”