Poly Bringing Precision to Rebranding Products in an Electronics Merger


The Situation

Polycom and Plantronics were committed to merging. As a combined entity, they would be positioned to offer a broad portfolio of complementary products and services to enterprise communication and collaboration customers. Still outstanding was deciding whether the best path forward would be to stick with either Plantronics or Polycom as the company name, or come up with a new name altogether. Another priority was figuring out how to implement brand change in a strategic and efficient way.

The Challenge

The ultimate decision of what to call this multibillion-dollar company would come with huge ramifications. Plantronics and Polycom both had a global footprint and customer base, highly branded products and packaging, and thousands of employees.

Management wanted to learn their options and identify the right course of action. They also needed a conversion and implementation plan for their brand rollout among their products and 51 locations across the globe, and they needed to better understand how long the process would take and how much it would cost. One other consideration was how new signage would be implemented at their corporate headquarters, where an archaeological survey would need to take place before work could begin.

"This so far exceeded my expectations, and we could not have done this on our own."

— Former EVP and CMO, Poly

The Solution

Before a name was selected, Plantronics and Polycom engaged with the team at BrandActive who could help them better understand and scope out the task in front of them. The BrandActive team completed interviews across 11 functional areas with 50 stakeholders to identify costs and timelines for rebranding products, legal filings/certifications, signage, branded environments, fleet, workwear, and more.

From BrandActive’s work, they learned that launching a fresh brand was only marginally more expensive over three fiscal years than converting to one of the two existing names. Thus, with the help of an outside branding agency, the new brand, Poly, was born. Poly then retained BrandActive to help plan and convert key branded assets worldwide to the new identity. The first item on the list was signage – a high-visibility, high-cost touchpoint. The BrandActive team ran a tight RFP process to find global signage vendors for the newly formed company. They created a custom scorecard built specifically for Poly to make it easy to compare 17 different signage vendors across three regions.

Once the vendors were selected, BrandActive worked hand in hand with the team at Poly to create signage standards and recommendation books for external and internal applications. Then, they helped the product team with product and packaging rebrand transition plans, including prioritizing key products while deciding which products would be fully rebranded vs. cross-branded, making decisions and presenting to their CMO about budget requests, and determining how and when the changes would take place—all while keeping a careful eye on the bottom-line costs. BrandActive also worked with Poly to ensure their internal environments reflected the new brand by managing the process of replacing all graphics, products, and signage inside their offices.

Before implementing these changes at Poly’s headquarters, BrandActive completed the complex and unique task of directing an archeological survey of their headquarters, ultimately finding a solution that kept historical items preserved and sensitive areas intact, while still converting everything to the new brand.

The Results

During this transitional time, BrandActive’s strategic counsel and hands-on help kept the project on the rails, empowering the Poly team to get cross-functional buy-in from their executive team and roll out their new brand successfully. With BrandActive’s support, Poly successfully brought their rebrand to life across 51 corporate sites under budget and within their directed timeline.