Case Study: Motorola Solutions
- Creative director, global marketing, broadband mobility solutions: Frank Lawlor
- Senior director, global brand + creative: Gary Van Prooyen
Motorola Solutions: Communicating the Human Impact
Ed. note: This case study is a selection from the 2011 “Making the Case” competition, in which an esteemed jury identified submissions that demonstrate the value of design in a clear, compelling and accessible way. It serves as an example of how to explain design thinking to clients, students, peers and the public in general, based on specific metrics.
After more than 80 years of operating as a single company, Motorola, Inc., decided to separate into two independent companies. One of these was “Motorola Solutions,” the B2B entity that serves government and enterprise business.
Siegel+Gale was tasked with redefining and launching the new Motorola Solutions brand and organization, developing its purpose and creating a visual identity system. We had to tell a clear, compelling story that would reinforce the brand’s commitment to innovation, while motivating its global team of employees. This was an opportunity to give “Motorolans” a renewed sense of pride in the contributions they make.
We used qualitative research to both inform the development of the purpose and strategic foundation, as well as to evaluate its global appropriateness with Motorola employees. Through a series of interviews with Motorola leadership and focus groups with employees around the world, we were able to ensure that the work we developed felt uniquely suitable and meaningful for Motorola Solutions employees, regardless of where they were based. Specifically, we conducted 15–20 leadership interviews and 20+ employee focus groups in the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia.
Siegel+Gale embarked on a process that would help define what the “new” Motorola would be and unite previously disparate messaging. We had to create a look and voice for a new B2B company that had been part of a blended consumer and enterprise brand for more than 80 years. Among the challenges we faced were:
- Creating a voice for an organization, founded and led by technology developers and engineers, that would connect Motorola Solutions with its customers and end-users
- Creating an independent voice and visual identity for Motorola Solutions that had to live alongside Motorola Mobility (a legally-separate entity that would share the same brand)
- Securing management buy-in
- Navigating through licensee agreements
- Ensuring all our work was appropriate for a global audience, while staying true to the original intent
Furthermore, while we knew that Motorola had an incredible story to tell, we had to engage an uncertain and skeptical global employee audience. Fear of job loss, relocation and future direction were factors that impacted employee morale. Employees wondered how, and if, they fit in with the new Motorola. Despite the setbacks and uncertainty, Siegel+Gale learned that employees remained proud of Motorola and the immense contributions the company has made. On behalf of Motorola, we needed to tap into this pride, seize the moment and rally employees around the story of where the new organization was headed and what it meant for them.
Siegel+Gale recognized the opportunity to connect employees more directly with the people and organizations that use Motorola’s products and solutions, and the profound impact that these products and solutions have. What employees needed was a sense of purpose—a clear articulation of the difference they were making in the world—to help guide and inspire them, and to reignite their commitment to innovation.
Working in partnership with the Motorola Solutions team, we reconnected the organization with the impact they have on the individuals and organizations they serve. For first responders in emergency situations, for doctors and nurses caring for their patients or for retail associates during crazed holiday sales, Motorola Solutions plays a key role in moments that are life enhancing, and even mission critical. This core insight helped us uncover and articulate a clear purpose: “Motorola helps people be their best in the moments that matter.”
From this purpose stemmed the elements of the strategic foundation—a new brand promise, values and brand voice, as well as an invigorating new visual identity that introduced “Motorola Solutions” to the world. Now the employees of Motorola Solutions, energized by a clear sense of purpose and enabled by our training and guidelines, have the tools and focus they need to feel connected to and inspired by their remarkable impact on the world.
Siegel+Gale’s work helped reshape how Motorola Solutions thought and talked about itself. The organization now has a clear purpose, a clear voice, and speaks more authentically, which allows its impact to shine through elegantly simple communications.
We provided Motorola Solutions with a simplified system and easy-to-use guidelines for everything from purpose storytelling to collateral to video production that allowed the organization to digest major change in a period of nine months, a short amount of time for a company of Motorola’s size and global reach. Despite the clear departure from the status quo, Motorola’s leadership quickly adopted and embraced the new Motorola Solutions purpose, voice and direction. The level of support from senior leadership encouraged more than 17,000 global employees to accept the new organization’s voice and direction as well.
The Siegel+Gale team produced eight “purpose posters” (see Illustrations) that covered the facilities across the globe at launch. Within three months this number grew to more than 250 posters translated into 20 languages. The purpose posters—and the storytelling framework we developed for them—became the device that allowed Motorola Solutions employees to share their own moments that mattered. From employees in the procurement offices to engineers, the purpose posters became the domain of the entire organization rather than just a marketing tool. The posters became the core elements of Motorola Solutions’ facility rebranding in 40 worldwide locations. By seeing the end-consumer benefits that Motorola delivers each day, every employee could realize the role they play in a much bigger picture; for example “I engineer component parts, but ultimately I help keep cities safe.”
The success and effectiveness of this project was tangible from day one; from employees excited to share Motorola Solutions’ new story with customers to saving production dollars by producing high-impact video content. Simplifying and clarifying the visuals and voice of Motorola Solutions has already lead to smarter design choices, cohesive communications and higher employee morale, only three months into launch. A “My Moment” contest let employees submit their own stories of customer impact. More than 50 vignettes were submitted, most by engineers who had never thought about brand messaging prior to this engagement.
Coincidentally, the Chilean miner incident occurred shortly after launch, and Motorola Solutions communications equipment were instrumental in the rescue efforts. The night of the rescue, Motorola Solutions CEO Greg Brown drafted an email to all employees using the new visual style, voice and purpose that was released globally the following day. Our work allowed Motorola to illustrate the impact they have on the world in a timely and meaningful way. We can’t wait to see the Motorola Solutions moments to come in the future.