Brand Makers

Exclusive: This is us just getting out of the gates: HCLTech’s Jill Kouri

Jill Kouri, Chief Marketing Officer, HCLTech, talks about the new brand identity and logo, what it signifies and more

By  Tasmayee Laha RoySep 26, 2022 8:13 PM
Exclusive: This is us just getting out of the gates: HCLTech’s Jill Kouri
Jill Kouri, global chief marketing officer, HCL Technologies

HCL Technologies (HCLTech) today launched its new brand identity and logo strengthened by a distinct positioning of ‘Supercharging Progress’.

Jill Kouri, Chief Marketing Officer, HCLTech says they are specially excited about their purpose which is to bring together the best of their technology and people to supercharge progress. Kouri also talks about the commitment that they’re making to drive progress across all four of these areas, the new strategies, campaigns and more. Edited excerpts.

What is Supercharging Progress all about?

When we created this brand positioning on the back of a lot of qualitative and quantitative research we have always been clear that we have four key audiences. It's our clients, our people, the communities where we work and live in and for the planet at large. So this supercharging progress is grounded in reality but highly aspirational as well on some of our goals and objectives related to all four of these audiences.

Why this new positioning?

There are some really pragmatic reasons to ‘why this’. We've got over 170,000 people in India and we have been working very hard to develop our nearshore locations like Eastern Europe and Central America. We're putting a huge emphasis on building delivery centers in those two areas as well as many other markets. In markets we're trying to hire talent at large scale and even in geographies where we have a huge number of clients like the US and Western Europe we're trying to also hire people at scale. There is HCL and there's HCLTech, but there's not as much clarity as to what's what and who's who. While certainly HCL Technologies is a huge part of HCL Enterprise there was some confusion about what HCL enterprises versus HCL Technologies.

What I've been saying is, when you turn 21 in the US you officially become an adult and you are of your drinking age and you can do a lot of things that you couldn't do when you were 20. Likewise, I feel like we're kind of growing up and into our identity that we've always had. So it's still a very close association and affiliation with the parent company and it isn’t a rebranding exercise. It's just us finally having a logo and carrying the HCLTech name as the forward facing go-to market name versus using HCL.

Some of it is also for clarity for jobseekers. HCL alone doesn't indicate what HCLTech does. So it's just a little bit easier to go to market in a new market where you're not known at all and carry the tech as part of your market name.

Why now?

I've now been here for 14 months. So when the company brought me in 14 months ago, they absolutely knew that a key part of the reason for needing a proper global CMO was very much related to growing our brand awareness at a macro level. This is something that CVK (C Vijayakumar) and Roshni (Roshni Nadar) have been thinking about for quite a while and it was a key priority when they brought me in, to really think about our unaided and aided market awareness. This positioning and where we're at now was just a result of what had been planned to happen as they were looking for their future global CMO. This was always the plan. They just needed the proper resources to help them take the company to this next level. So I was really acting as an enabler for two amazing leaders who I’ve worked hand in hand with, on this journey over the last nine to twelve months.

How will you amplify this new messaging?

Our people are the most critical and crucial part of making this brand. We are very focused on doing the right internal communications with our people. There are going to be events and celebrations happening all over the world tomorrow, which will kick off with a webcast where CVK along with other members of the leadership team will be speaking. We will be talking to our employees around the world. An in person event will precede and follow the webcast.

We're doing a lot to have excitement generation and a sustained commitment to what supercharging progress means? We're doing a 30 days of supercharging progress campaign featuring different stories of how we're impacting the four pillars here. So there's a lot of focus on our people and the way that I am ending my part of the webcast is by focusing on how all of this starts with ‘you’ and how living the brand is critically important for the success of this new brand positioning. So we all have to lean into it and we all have to make it our own. There will be many things happening on organic social media. We’re making a foray into a pretty comprehensive paid digital campaign. We have not done a whole lot of macro brand level advertising and I think that the company is really ready to make the right investments and not necessarily always financial but investments to ensure that we are going to get the right exposure as we've done a large amount of work over the last year to get to where we are today.

This is like the start of the marathon. This is us just getting out of the gates. You're going to see a lot of things happening in the next six months that are very exciting.

Going forward, what will be the top three agenda for HCLTech?

One of the things which is really important for us is supercharging our commitment to the communities in which we work and live. HCL Foundation will be more active than ever before as we’d be expanding our CSR efforts all over the world. We're going to be running an internal campaign that has at its essence, this notion of ‘impact comes from within’. We are also gaining a lot of traction and momentum around our sustainability efforts. We've been working much more closely with our sustainability team. We're going to continue to work with the World Economic Forum and continue to work with HCL parent on a number of things in the area of sustainability. Then finally, this supercharging progress is of course our brand essence and it will be something that we will be living and breathing every day with our clients.

What we are going to do is continue to focus on ensuring that we reshape the way- we present to our clients, we do our quarterly business reviews and we run our bi- weekly meetings. We want to make the language and the essence of supercharging progress become more of the vernacular that guides and drives how we interact with our clients. Even though it already forms the essence of how we operate., I think we're going to just make it more front and center in the way we communicate.

We are going to make a huge commitment to collecting up a lot of the stories of supercharging progress so we can articulate in a more tangible way to prospective clients. I think it's really going to help us guide the way that we work as marketers to ensure that we can make good on a regular basis on this very lofty brand promise.

First Published on Sep 26, 2022 6:42 PM