Tech company ABB wanted food and beverage attached to its brand, but there was a perception problem. Find out how Agency Inc turned this around for ABB.
ABB is a tech company that works with utility, industry, transportation and infrastructure sectors. It offers help at each stage of the production process including power, digitalisation, robotics and automation.
Initial Position: ABB ranked a lowly fifth place in the market. A long way off its aspiration to be number two. The issue was that its positioning was about pushing products rather than engaging with the specific challenges of the food and beverage sector.
Despite serving food and beverage for many years, ABB was known as an industrial products supplier. food and beverage manufacturers associated them solely with heavy industry: oil, gas, and mining.
ABB operates in hundreds of product and service categories in over 100 countries.
This led to fragmented and inconsistent communications to food and beverage manufacturers. Rather than speaking with one voice, ABB spoke with multiple voices that emphasise different aspects of the company. Confusion instead of clarity was the result.
ABB wanted to become a global leader in the F&B sector. But it had a perception problem among F&B manufacturers – they saw ABB as a supplier to heavy industry. They turned this into a strength, repositioning ABB from supplier to trusted partner with a huge portfolio and the expertise to match. The ‘Talk to us’ campaign invited F&B manufacturers to begin a conversation with ABB and find a solution that’s right for them.
Media, techniques and channels used
Agency Inc created a tagline that also functions as a call to action: ‘Talk to us’.
This aligned perfectly with ABB’s new position as a trusted consultant. It invited customers to begin the conversation with ABB and find a solution that’s right for them.
The tagline worked well with a series of six headlines, each one speaking to a specific food and beverage challenge:
- A plant of infinite possibilities. Talk to us.
- A plant that connects to everything. Talk to us.
- A plant that is truly sustainable. Talk to us.
- A plant that maximises reliability. Talk to us.
- A plant that safeguards product integrity. Talk to us.
- A plant that creates certainty. Talk to us.
This messaging created a distinct sound in this space. Now Agency Inc needed to create a distinct look.
In a sector where marketing materials are characterised by generic images of food and beverage factories, Agency Inc did something different. Using 3D modelling, we created six bespoke hero images. For each visual, a conveyor belt in the shape of a recognisable symbol helped get the message across quickly (e.g. a recycling symbol for sustainability). This meant that Agency Inc could visualise the solutions that ABB provides and map them onto the specific food and beverage challenges that it identified in its research.
Agency Inc were able to use the visuals as bold, clear, memorable static images and as visually stunning animations.
Agency Inc chose a mix of complementary channels we knew could take end users on a journey from awareness to trusted partner:
- Video content
- Direct digital touchpoints
- Internal and external print collateral
- PR and trade partner placements
The agency had managed to create a distinct look and sound. But how would they ensure the campaign had unified voice internationally?
Agency Inc provided ABB with a set of campaign guidelines and a communication plan to get buy-in from their teams across the world. The agency explained the rationale for everything – from the tagline, to the hero visuals, to the specific assets – and explained exactly how they could be used in their own marketing efforts.
Timescale of the campaign
Ongoing campaign (November 2017 – current)
Research & strategic framework:
November 2017 – January 2018
January – February 2018
Creative production x6 Hero visuals:
February – April 2018
Campaign launch materials roll-out:
April – July 2018 o Campaign live: August 2018 – current.
The ‘Talk to us’ campaign leveraged a previous perceived weakness of the ABB brand – its association with heavy industry – and made it a strength. ABB was now the expert consultant with a huge portfolio and the specialist knowledge to match. The campaign met with huge success, smashing targets across the board and driving double digit growth across the business.
“Agency Inc’s approach to client understanding combined with their creative machinery is really what has set them apart from the other agencies I’ve worked with. The results speak for themselves.”
Robert Glass, ABB Global Food & Beverage Communications Manager
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