SANTA CLARA, CA: Business collaboration and communications technology company Avaya Holdings is getting support from recently appointed North American AOR Creation on its Experiences That Matter brand platform.
Launched this month, Experiences That Matter signifies Avaya’s pivot towards cloud computing, said Aaron Pearson, Creation’s North America EVP. Avaya began to focus on cloud technologies to give its customers "more agility," allowing them to add features, simplify and upgrade their software, and apply technologies faster and more easily, he said.
The goal of the campaign is to highlight interactions between the brand and its customers.
"When customers are interacting with a brand by calling them or engaging them, you create an experience with that customer," Pearson explained. "That’s a source of competitive advantage, and Avaya has software tools and solutions to optimize that experience."
In the same way Avaya is helping to facilitate interactions between companies and customers, it can improve internal communications among employees.
"It’s our job to put [this offering] into context with not just IT, but business leaders," Pearson said. "Historically, this is a more back-office implementation, but with experience at the forefront, it’s more of a concern for business executives."
Creation will work on industry and business media relations and social media strategy, targeting potential customers, investors, partners, and influencers, Pearson said. Salt Lake City-based Contravent is the creative agency that is handling branding on Experiences That Matter.
Avaya went public this year with Jim Chirico as CEO after emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and Creation wants to "tell the story of the progress of that journey," Pearson said. Avaya was created in 2000 after a spinoff from Lucent Technologies.
Pearson is leading a team of a half-dozen staffers in San Francisco and Minneapolis, where Creation is based. He added that the team is a mix of full-time Creation staffers and shared resources from parent company Weber Shandwick, "provided there are no conflicts." Creation’s team is reporting to Forrest Monroy, global head of corporate communications at Avaya.
The firm was picked after a competitive review that began with a spring RFP, Pearson said. Six agencies responded to the review, and four gave final presentations in July. Work began on the account at the end of that month.
Prior to winning Avaya’s account, Creation handled PR work for data storage company Seagate Technology, where a few Avaya staffers have worked. Creation handled PR work for SeaGate in Asian markets and was its primary North American agency.
The incumbent on the Avaya account, FleishmanHillard HighRoad, wasn’t immediately available for comment. Previously, FleishmanHillard HighRoad also worked for Lucent.
Fleishman acquired HighRoad in 2000. Early this year, Fleishman Canada completed its merger with High Road to create the merged agency.
FleishmanHillard HighRoad president Angela Carmichael said via email that Avaya and her agency "enjoyed a long and successful business relationship" that included a two-plus-year stint as AOR for Avaya North America and more than 10 years as Avaya Canada’s AOR.
"With Avaya and FHR restructuring their respective businesses in 2018, this agency transition came at the right time for everyone," she said. "We had a wonderful run with Avaya, and we wish them every bit of success in the future."
This story was updated on November 29 with comment from Carmichael.