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The Story Behind the Unified SAP Brand

January 11, 2016 by Siddharth Taparia 146

The digital economy has radically transformed the landscape for companies and organizations worldwide. Ninety percent of CEOs believe that the digital economy will have a major impact on their industry.*

If you have been paying attention to SAP, you are likely aware of its remarkable evolution from an ERP company to an end-to-end provider of solutions for the digital economy. Over the past five years, SAP has innovated at a rapid pace for its customers and made some of the largest acquisitions in enterprise technology history.

SAP has a unique philosophy towards acquisitions. The approach, simply stated, is to acquire only the most innovative market leaders blazing the trail in their respective markets. Companies such as SuccessFactors, Ariba, hybris, Fieldglass and Concur have become part of SAP in the last five years, making it one of the largest and most successful cloud players in the market with over 80 million users.

With leadership comes responsibility. When we acquired companies, we also acquired respected brands that were loved by their customers and employees. At the same time, our customers were looking at SAP to provide them a world-class portfolio of integrated solutions that helped them innovate and lead in their own industries. And they expected a customer experience that made it effortless for them to interact with us. In other words, we needed to make a decision on how we would evolve the brands we had acquired to make life easier and simpler for our customers.

Our goal was to make the most intuitive connection between SAP, one of the best known brands in the technology industry, and our acquired brands, each a leader in its own space. As we went through this process, we looked at both the science and art of marketing. The insights and research from the market and customers had to be balanced with the passion and emotions that good brands inevitably invoke.

As a result, we made the decision to unify our brand. As Maggie Chan Jones, CMO of SAP, shared in her open letter, we are introducing a unified SAP brand that includes Ariba, Fieldglass, hybris and SuccessFactors solutions and services. This will allow our customers to better understand and navigate our entire portfolio of offerings. These brands will continue to be easily recognizable, being known as SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass, SAP Hybris and SAP SuccessFactors respectively.

While branding can sometimes seem like inside baseball with logos, names, expressions, colors, etc., our intent continues to be to use our brands to represent the underlying innovations and integration that help our customers, which represent 98% of the world’s most valuable brands. This change is a step in our quest toward bringing the best products and solutions to our customers whether they were born at SAP or became part of SAP through an acquisition. This marks an important milestone in that journey.

Siddharth Taparia (@siddharth31) is Vice President of Marketing and Head of Marketing M&A at SAP.

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