Cisco is a California-based company that provides networking solutions and equipment. It was founded in 1984 and started operations by providing a multiple-protocol router software (Cisco). The company went public in 1990 and in 2000 it was named the most valuable brand in the world. Its success is based on several aspects. Firstly, the company focuses on customer demands, stressing the fact that users define their strategy and not executives. Customer orientation is deeply embedded into the company’s culture and is constantly reinforced by the company’s values and strategies. Secondly, Cisco is trying to create networks and alliances within the organization and with external partners, thus increasing efficiency and service quality. Thirdly, it extensively uses technology, which is not only in the core of Cisco’s business, but also the cornerstone of its marketing efforts and customer support (Paley ).
In 2006 Cisco initiated major changes in its public image. They shortened the name Cisco Systems to Cisco and emphasized the interests of the emerging consumer market. In the centre of the new brand campaign "Welcome to the Human Network" was "The Human Network Effect" promotion, which outlined the benefits of communication that can be achieved using Cisco solutions showing. The new strategy is based on innovation and change management that would encourage the achievement of enterprise objectives. It demonstrated in a more understandable and a less technical way how Cisco can improve lives and businesses. Here, Cisco did not try to promote particular products or services, but introduced the social use of Internet that is greatly facilitated by Cisco network solutions. The new campaign focuses on 7 Network Effects: Collaboration, Save More, Break Down Barriers, Travel Less, the Power When You Need It, Launch Products Faster, Save the Planet and the Knowledge Is Power that together help companies and individuals to enhance productivity and improve results (Cisco). The efforts of Cisco in promoting the new marketing strategy were further supported by their 360-degree media-buying strategy that allows only certain media partnerships and non-traditional vehicles to be selected by the company.
The choice of the new marketing strategy by Cisco is fully consistent with their aspirations for growth. Recent expansion into new businesses opens a new marketplace for the company as it targets also private customers and individual employees in organisations. Moreover, the promotion of the Cisco brand rather than specific products allows the company to expand its product offering without the need to modify the communicated image. As a result of this strategy, in the mind of its customers Cisco is associated with Internet and connectivity rather than with specific products or services, thus allowing the company to sell new solutions and services in order to enhance customer experience and productivity (Schafer). Cisco believes that their clients require targeted solutions to their problems and need only to understand the benefits of connectivity and not the complexity of the software and hardware that enables it. This further expands the range of services of the company, as they can extend the value-added to the customers by designing tailored solutions and later by providing customer support and post-sales service. Moreover, the message communicated by the company addresses the audience far beyond the traditional target group. This approach allows promoting not only Cisco, but also the use of Internet and the benefits of connectivity, thus primarily inviting people to embrace the benefits of technology, thus increasing the number of clients in the markets giving Cisco more opportunities to grow.
The success of Cisco’s strategy is the function of the ongoing company efforts, however the fact that Cisco remains in the list of the most valued brands also in 2012 shows that consumers value what the company has to offer. The new rebranding and promotion campaign seems to be consistent with the company’s aspirations to go beyond selling software and hardware and to extend its presence into several areas, which together enhance customer connectivity and productivity. This market does not have clear-cut boundaries as well as it is not limited by the number of existing clients. As people will further embrace the benefits of communication technologies and networks, the need for Cisco products and services will continue to grow.
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