STAMFORD, CT: They don't just sort mail anymore.
Office-equipment maker Pitney Bowes said it has some evidence that a yearlong rebranding effort, including a PR component, has paid off.
The company now enjoys a 130% increase in perception among C-suite executives - the main target of the rebranding campaign - that Pitney Bowes is an integrated mail and document-management company, rather than its former label of a postage-meter company, according to research conducted by Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates.
Recognition of Pitney Bowes' capabilities to manage document workflow increased by more than 100% in the C-suite since the rebranding effort was launched. The company's association with the business of improving the flow of communication increased by more than 150%, and its recognition as a brand that delivers a return on investment rose by 390%, according to the study.
A year ago, Pitney Bowes embarked on the effort to reach various audiences, but especially higher-level executives. Sheryl Battles, VP of external affairs, explained that with some of today's sophisticated document equipment starting at $1 million, companies' purchasing decisions are often being made at higher and higher levels.
"There was a business need to broaden the conversation between Pitney Bowes and people at the higher echelons in the organization," she said.
The survey found that C-suite executives now associated a new set of attributes with the Pitney Bowes brand, including a 100% increase for its innovation and ability to provide integrated communications. The study also reported a more than 30% increase in the knowledge of the technological capabilities of the company.
The campaign involved advertising, such as print ads, outdoor ads, airport ads, and direct mail. But it also included special PR events, such as a series of business seminars called "Beyond the Envelope," which attracted members of the C-suite.
There was also a Valentine's Day event at Grand Central Terminal in New York that demonstrated Pitney Bowes' equipment by letting commuters create and send customized greetings. In addition. the company conducted media outreach, which included holding briefings for reporters at its Stamford, CT, headquarters.
Battles said that the Penn Schoen survey exceeded the company's expectations and that the rebranding effort is ongoing.