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NetApp launches multiyear branding campaign

In order to facilitate company growth, NetApp, a global storage and data management company, has launched a new multiyear brand and awareness campaign.

“It’s all reflective of everything we already are. We’re just expressing it better,” said Elisa Steele, SVP of corporate marketing for NetApp.

Although research indicated that NetApp’s customers felt positive about the company, its rate of unaided awareness was less than 10%, Steele said. While NetApp has $3 billion in annual revenues, its competitors — which include EMC, IBM and Hewlett-Packard — have much higher rates of unaided awareness. “It’s hard to grow when 90% of the market doesn’t quite know who you are,” Steele said.

As part of its new brand awareness campaign, NetApp has rolled out a new logo and tagline — Go further, faster — as well as a newly reworked corporate Web site. The company also legally changed its name from Network Appliance to NetApp. Previously, customers knew the company by more than one name, which caused confusion, Steele explained.

NetApp also plans to host its first global users conference, to be called NetApp Accelerate, in San Francisco in February of 2009. The campaign kicked off on Monday with a full-page color ad in The Wall Street Journal. The company will also be running ads on and offline in a variety of IT and business publications like Forbes, The Economist and Business Week, Steele said.

As part of the campaign, NetApp has unified and centralized its search marketing efforts, Steele said. Before, different teams in different geographical areas would not be coordinated with corporate. Now, the company has one program across the globe, which can be measured from a centralized standpoint, she said.

In addition to in-house efforts, NetApp is working with Landor Associates, a branding and market positioning strategy consultancy firm and Young & Rubicam, a marketing communications agency, on the multi-year campaign.

“We’re all in agreement that this was a three to four year branding process,” Steele said. “It’s not a program you can run in a quarter or year. It’s something you have to continuously and constantly invest in.”

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