Dimension Data enlists Global Chairman, CTO and Australian CEO to educate employees on brand refresh

Two per cent branding rule delivers modern, younger, refreshed identity

When multi-billion dollar IT group, Dimension Data, wanted to educate its 12,500 employees around the world about why it had refreshed its corporate brand identity, the South African based company called on its founder, and longtime CTO to demonstrate why it was important for not only people, but also companies to keep up with the times.

Photographs of Executive Chairman, Jeremy Ord (below) taken in the early 1980s at the height of fashion; and CTO Ettienne Reinecke with long hair and double-breasted jacket were retrieved from the company archives.

Above:   on the left Jeremy Ord, Dimension Data Chairman in the 1980s,

and on the right, fashionable and current today

Above:  A slick Dimension Data CTO, Ettienne Reinecke with single-breasted suit,

short hairstyle and silk tie compared to his image in  the early 1990s

The company unveiled its refreshed brand and at the same time, rebranded its wholly-owned Asian subsidiary, Datacraft, to Dimension Data.

“We used our founder/chairman and CTO as metaphors to get the message across to our employees that one’s image must be current, relevant and credible in the marketplace and support the messages we are communicating,” explained Connie de Lange, Dimension Data’s Group Executive: Marketing.

“It was also critical that we evolve the look of the logo to be more modern and younger. Today Dimension Data is a very different company to when we refreshed parts of the corporate identity in 2000 at around the time of the tech bubble burst.  In 2000, the primary features of the brand were defined as passion, innovation and performance.  Our passion and innovation has not lessened, but the focus of the way we do business has evolved to being less about what we sell, and more about how we can support our clients’ business objectives, both today and tomorrow. Today, clients are increasingly looking for a business outcome and not just a technology product: it’s about what we can do for our clients’ business and not what the ‘box’ does for the network.

Ms De Lange said the visualisation and positioning of company, which operates directly on five continents and in 49 countries and indirectly in a further 120 countries, was not working hard enough to support its business strategy.  “Dimension Data has evolved to having a more services-led approach; offering our clients a full lifecycle of IT services across multiple geographies and multiple vendors.” 

Research shows employees key to company’s success

According to Martin Aungle, Dimension Data’s Australian Corporate Communications Manager, services - the linchpin of Dimension Data’s corporate strategy - is all about people and delivery through people.  “From a strategy standpoint, we wanted to make sure that the company’s brand identity fully represented the direction we were going in and at the same time helps us to attract and retain great employees.

“In the research phase of the project we surveyed Dimension Data’s leaders and employees in all geographies, including Australia.  We then went externally to our partners, vendors, clients, industry analysts and the media to gauge their perceptions of what the brand meant to them.  What was interesting was that any time we asked questions about the quality and professionalism of our people, we received extremely high scores.

The war for talent is not going to slow down. One of the objectives of the brand refresh was to ensure that our corporate identity continues to be relevant and meaningful for the people in our business. Another goal is to continue to attract younger generations who are coming into the marketplace.  By refreshing the brand to look younger and more energetic, we needed to ensure that when they consider Dimension Data, they see a company with energy, vibrancy – a company to match their own attitude and outlook,” concluded Mr Aungle.

Two per cent branding rule

Dimension Data was careful tonot fall into the trap of thinking that a big change in the logo would reap big rewards - and potentially have catastrophic results. The old Dimension Data logo had a very thick, heavy, bold capped font.

“We didn’t want to reinvent the brand: the value of our brand and the loyalty of our client base are integral to our past and future success. When the company started in1983, the founding principles were ‘to do great things’, and that sentiment remains fundamental to the brand today.  We therefore chose to follow the 2% branding rule and make a small change to the logo that would have a big impact for the company.   The refreshed logo is modern and younger.  It conveys more energy with a refreshed bright green colour, and projects a more approachable company with its charcoal grey, softer, rounded font,” Ms De Lange explained.

Consistency global identity through employees

Another key consideration around Dimension Data’s brand refresh was to ensure that it articulated a consistent global identity to ensure that the market perception and impact was the same irrespective of where its clients reside or operate.

“As brand ambassadors, our people need to have a clear and consistent understanding of the brand, and be true to our brand passions and personalities worldwide. That’s a fundamental aspect of the brand refresh project, and we set out to ensure that every employee not only understands and articulates the new brand, but lives it every day that they come to work and engage with our clients,” said Ms De Lange.

Accelerate your ambition

Dimension Data has also included a strapline ‘accelerate your ambition’ as part of its corporate brand identity.

Dimension Data is leveraging a wide range of social media to launch its refreshed brand identity on a ‘follow the sun’ basis starting in New Zealand and Australia, moving around the globe and ending in the Americas.   Mr Aungle explained:  “We initially wanted to run one consistent global event but the logistics across the different time zones and cultural nuances across countries became a challenge.  Each country or region picked its own event or activity to drive employee engagement around the new brand. Many operations are taking photographs and videos of these events and other activities around the brand refresh to share via social media,” he commented.

See further http://www.facebook.com/DimensionDataAustralia, http://www.twitter.com/DimensionDataAU, http://www.twitter.com/DimensionData and http://www.facebook.com/DimensionData.

Dimension Data used its in-house creative team as well as agencies to assist with the refresh.


About Dimension Data

Founded in 1983, Dimension Data plc is an ICT services and solutions provider that uses its technology expertise, global service delivery capability, and entrepreneurial spirit to accelerate the business ambitions of its clients. Dimension Data is a member of the NTT Group. www.dimensiondata.com