Marketing Leadership, Emotional Storytelling at HP


Transformation at HP has been underfoot for years now as the company played catch-up to others in the technology market like IBM, Lenovo and others. As the company reset the strategy in 2015 creating Hewlett Packard Enterprises and HP, Inc., Antonio Lucio, chief marketing officer at what would become HP, Inc., and his team were conducting thousands of interviews internally and externally to yet again re-stage the HP brand.

Lucio spoke this week at The CMO Club Summit in New York City about the transformation and reinvention at HP. The magic of Lucio’s efforts is not the brand strategy or campaign, but rather his leadership and coaching ability to lead HP towards alignment of vision, strategy and brand through an inclusive and seemingly exhaustive process. Lucio described how this process involved thousands of internal employee interviews, hundreds of external stakeholder interviews and many hours with the executive leadership team and personally with the CEO to align on the vision and then the brand. The result has been clearer focus on what makes HP special and how they will choose to compete into the future.

A second accomplishment and only possible after the alignment of vision and brand was to bring emotional connection to an engineering driven company that for years would discuss only features and benefits. Many have seen and applauded the “Reinvent Romance” ad with its very natural tie to the Star Wars movie launch, but I wasn’t aware of an equally if not stronger ad called “Mom”. What makes this expression of the brand interesting is two fold – 1) the emotional connection it makes through story and 2) the bold leadership to focus on building the printing category. HP felt it needed to regain its leadership role in printing and has chosen to do so through inspiration and emotion.

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