Avnet.com users woke up Monday to a freshly redesigned and completely overhauled website spotting a new corporate tagline, logo and color – green is in and red is out. These are all elements of a revamped promotional and global branding campaign heralding the fundamental reorganization and strategic business repositioning being carried out at one of the electronics industry’s leading facilitators of design chain and supply chain activities.
Of course, Avnet can still be labelled an electronics component distributor but that description is more reflective of the old, drab, and only partially accurate image the company says it wants to jettison. At the core of the new branding campaign launched today is a new narrative meant to convey to customers and suppliers and illustrate to investors and shareholders how Avnet sees its evolving role in the electronics industry under new CEO William Amelio.
The new Avnet.com, the company’s principal online portal and digital gateway to a host of services and ecommerce center, has been overhauled to bring all its business units together. From this staging point suppliers numbering in the hundreds and more than 100,000 OEMs and contract manufacturing customers as well as millions of engineers, electronics aficionados, members of the Maker Movement and anyone else with even a passing interest in the high-tech industry can interact with the company’s employees, buy products, engage in discussions, access technical product information and chat with each other.
The new website brings all Avnet “properties” under one umbrella and more accurately reflect the company’s value proposition even as it preserves the unique look and feel of the different business units, said Kevin Sellers, senior vice president and chief marketing officer.
“We’ve consolidated dozens of websites into one global website completely redesigned with all the functionalities to make it easy for people to engage with us for content, if they choose, or to shop for products, if they choose,” Sellers said in an interview. “The most visible change will be in how people engage with our website. Of course, our logo too has changed but the most important changes are in the digital tools for engaging with Avnet.”
Avnet is changing more than its visual identity or even how it interacts with customers and suppliers. The new logo and tagline – Reach Further – are symbolic of deeper changes occurring at the company, according to company executives. In addition to highly public actions taken over the last six months, including the sale of Avnet’s Technology Solutions division and the acquisition of Premier Farnell Plc, the Phoenix-based company has been quietly undergoing a major reorganization and operational restructuring to position itself as a guide, enabler and facilitator of concept to production services for a new generation of electronics equipment manufacturers.
“We had everything in place for a great transformation and we were poised for it,” Amelio said, in an interview. “Over the last 8 to 9 months we’ve been doing some things that are radically different than we had done in the past. We’ve shed 30 percent-plus of our business; we’ve embarked upon the costliest acquisition in our history and; we’ve changed the course of the company. We are now in the middle of a substantial transformation.”
The new global brand campaign Avnet announced today sums up key parts of the company’s transformation. It is the first and most expensive globally coordinated rebranding campaign in the company’s 96-year history, wrapping in its elements the features of the changes occurring at the company.
“The rebranding culminates several strategic business moves, including the recent acquisitions of Premier Farnell and Hackster.io that Avnet has made to reach further into the conception, design and prototyping processes,” Avnet said in a statement. “These are stages where innovators can benefit most from an exposure to the hardware that will help them bring their products to market.”
The campaign includes the introduction of a new graphic element designed to convey the company’s core message that it acts as a “collaborator” supporting engineers and manufacturers as they transition ideas from concept to full blown production. Avnet said all the business elements it has acquired over the course of the last year, including Premier Farnell, Hackster.io and MakerSource.io, are the resources it is unleashing to give “individuals and startups access to a comprehensive ecosystem of the strategic and tactical resources needed to turn a pioneering new product vision into a marketable reality.”
The new corporate tagline – Reach Further – is being used to convey the same message of support to manufacturers and the design engineering community, according to CMO Sellers. The idea is that Avnet is better positioned today to help small and medium-size companies as well as non-engineers with viable ideas effortlessly progress from idea to production. The company is also supporting the Maker movement with a set of revamped digital offerings spread across its numerous offerings as well as via the Avnet Innovation Lab at Arizona State University.
“Reach Further is our promise that Avnet and each of our employees will do whatever it takes to guide customers and partners toward their most ambitious goals,” said Sellers, the CMO, in the statement announcing the brand campaign. “A brand is more than a marketing campaign. It is an authentic expression of the character and values of the company. The Reach Further mantra reflects a solemn commitment Avnet is making to makers, inventors, entrepreneurs, design engineers and suppliers.”
Avnet said further in the statement:
Reach Further is the result of deep research on Avnet’s key stakeholder audiences and aligns with the company’s business strategy. Avnet’s new logo replaces red with green to symbolize growth and possibility. The global campaign reflects the largest investment that Avnet has made in a marketing campaign during its 96-year history. It includes a focused mix of B2B print and digital advertising, paid and organic social media, digital display and video, and search engine marketing, as well as a new website and engagement program for Avnet’s 15,000 employees around the world. Supporting activities include trade shows and events and corporate social responsibility programs to extend and build awareness.
(EPSNews will publish over the course of the next week several articles on the ongoing restructuring of Avnet based on interviews with company executives, including CEO Amelio).