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CMO Spotlight:: Anna Griffin, Vice President, Global Brand & Campaigns at Juniper

Anna Griffin is Vice President, Global Brand & Campaigns @ Juniper (http://www.juniper.net/).  Anna and her colleagues are in the midst of a transformational corporate re-branding of Juniper from logo to web site to messaging and go-to-market strategy. A very bold and exciting coordinated effort for this fast-growing provider of global infrastructure solutions.

Learn more about Juniper’s launch at http://www.thenewnetworkishere.com.  We sat down with her to get the scoop on Juniper’s big, bold efforts.

Juniper has gone through a significant rebranding? Why now? And what does it mean for Juniper?

Anna Griffin, Vice President, Global Brand & Campaigns at Juniper

Why now?  An interesting and common question during a recession where marketing cut backs across the industry have happened at such a large scale but the answer is simple - we have something significant to say. New news, new strategy. The company is at an inflection point, where we want to move the association of Juniper which has been largely around networking hardware to be more about advance systems, advance software, and advance silicon- a more complete picture of who we are as a company.

You’ve likely noticed in our new brand we’ve removed the mark from the corporate logo and have instead created a mark for our most known and beloved sub brand, Junos.  Juniper is our corporate brand while Junos becomes our master product brand representing our philosophy of the union between systems, software, and silicon. The mark was designed to enable line extensions for new silicon and software as well as for partner branding as our distribution model grows.

What does it take to launch a corporate re-branding for a company the size of Juniper? And where do you start?

I’ve always wanted to be able to say, "It takes a village," now I can. For a rebrand to be a success, to be embraced, and to be heard in the market place, it takes the collective voice, education, and excitement of the entire organization. Without that, it can simply be reduced and dismissed as another color palette, tagline, and PowerPoint template from the marketing organization.

A rebrand starts with corporate strategy but also entails a deep visit back to corporate origin, corporate values and culture. It requires clarity on the true differentiators offered and assurance they are rooted in the wants and needs of the market place.

It takes perspective, creativity, and passion from stakeholders to turn insight into a powerful simple communication that has the ability to intrigue, to rally, to challenge and to excite. When you can achieve this, the village unites.

Lastly, it takes relevance. It’s one thing to trumpet you’ve arrived but another for the world to open its arms and say welcome. We launched our brand on Oct.29th, the 40th anniversary of ARPA net. The demands of the network have come a long way since its inception; it was never designed to do what the world has asked it to over the past few years with the intense volume of global connections to the internet, the bandwidth required to deliver multimedia and the power to run it all. It requires a radical rethink, one that is made possible from an open, innovative network.  A network that invites creativity, invention, and bright, curious minds to come in and build. The new network is here and it runs on Junos. (There I go into ad copy… but it’s just so simple to, when you are a relevant place for a brand to live).

How did you rally the team internally to embrace a corporate-wide initiative that impacts every component of your business?

We are a young company with a brilliant 13 year history. We are just getting started. Our culture truly believes in the art of what's possible, always seeking new ways, and new ideas. Engaging in change can be tricky when it’s mandated from the top down. However at Juniper, our employees are writing the change and have permission to rewrite the next chapter with every new idea. We simply asked employees to "imagine what we’ll do next" in this new decade of networking, this new digital culture. It’s a movement for creativity and commitment. We simply create venues for our employees to share and collaborate with each other allowing this movement to grow and inspire.

With social media, participation and community so hot, how did you weave this into branding effort?

Exactly that… made sure we had sound outlets for social media, participation, and community. We’ve developed disciplines for news aggregation, community engagement, competitive tools, and thought leadership. We’ve monitored and listened and we’ve heard active voices in the market tired of the status quo and asking for an alternative. We’ve developed the right interaction, content, and on ramps to our website to ensure we are able to capitalize on this growing demand.

In the era and obsession of lead gen, what role does branding play in tech marketing? And what impact do you expect to have on sales?

Obsessive… you’ve got that right. Never have I seen the disassociation between the two entities so strong. Branding in tech marketing feels like the proverbial catch 22. You need the brand awareness and reputation to increase the hand raising- yet you have to have the hand raising to get the budget for the awareness.  We firmly believe that a strong brand point of view in tech marketing is essential to successful lead generation. It’s how you create content, endorsements, bake offs, and offers that answer an opposing point view. The two live together in harmony.

How do you measure success with a re-branding effort? What are the success factors?

When we are no longer the industries best kept secret, we’ll know we’ve been successful.

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