Managing growth and culture

Why managing growth matters

Any financial analyst would be impressed by CenturyLink’s trajectory. They’ve quickly become the 3rd largest telecom in the U.S. with operations that stretch across North America, Europe, and Asia.

An aggressive acquisition strategy led to an expanded portfolio with companies such as Embarq, Qwest, and Savvis. However, each corporate entity had a different culture, personality, and value system. This merger of new arrivals also created a massive duplication of product offerings.

Accelerate the success

As agency of record, Salt handles a wide range of mandates from strategy and architecture to consumer marketing. In this case, brand management dictated two tasks: align everyone behind a unified set of CenturyLink values and optimize architecture for these extensive new acquisitions.

Mergers bring structural quandaries about brands and sub-brands, so well-defined metrics were established with benchmarks and financial thresholds. We then set in place a guidance system for retiring brands and creating new ones. These decisions allowed CenturyLink to streamline operations, trim expenditures, and accelerate their growth plans.

An intensive review of thousands of new and legacy products provided the insights to refine and distill CenturyLink’s offerings. This is often overlooked detail work that has an immediate effect on all financial spreadsheets. Rapid growth requires skillful adjustments, and Salt instituted a rigorous exam process.

Tackling the cultural shift

Merging several wildly different business cultures is a significant challenge. How do you motivate and incentivize people – from line workers to call center reps to software engineers – to learn the new brand?

Answer: you teach by entertaining. Salt created a fun Q&A mobile and desktop app called the Brain Game. Players explored every aspect of their brand, from visual identity and guiding principles to creating the right customer experience. A bonus “Genius” level in the game encouraged even deeper knowledge and higher learning scores.

By using game play techniques, CenturyLink found a fun, engaging, and motivational way to tell their story in depth. Brand and game on.

Why managing growth matters

When a multinational expands to nearly 50,000 people with business units across the country, branding becomes a transformational force. Wise decisions about architecture and asset management positioned CenturyLink for the next dynamic growth curve.

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