Unisys Unveils New Campaign as Weinbach Celebrates Year Anniversary
BLUE BELL, PA, September 24, 1998 -- Unisys Corporation today unveiled a new brand positioning and a related global advertising campaign that "reflect the energy and momentum of a transformed, contemporary information services and computer technology company created by Unisys people during the past 12 months," said Chairman and CEO Lawrence A. Weinbach.
Unisys will spend approximately $20 million on the advertising launch in the fourth quarter of this year and continue with an aggressive campaign in 1999.
Weinbach said that the company conducted extensive customer research on a worldwide basis over the past nine months to evolve its branding strategy. He said that "technically excellent, creative and tenacious Unisys people" were a powerful positioning differentiator for the company. He said Unisys people were the difference in "applying a portfolio of information services and mission-critical computer technologies to provide solutions to clients' business problems and make them more effective in serving their customers."
"Our advertising tagline -- 'We eat, sleep and drink this stuff.' -- captures the spirit of what energized Unisys people are doing to bring a proven strength to a new level of customer service and personal satisfaction," Weinbach said.
Weinbach, a 36-year veteran of Andersen Worldwide, an accounting and consulting firm, retired from Andersen at age 57 -- after quadrupling revenue to $11 billion during his nine years as CEO -- to pursue a second career that would not be limited by Andersen's mandatory retirement age of 62. He joined Unisys on September 23, 1997.
In the course of the past 12 months, Unisys has implemented a four-part plan that addressed immediate issues required to enable the company to become a successful, contemporary information services company with a technology arm. These issues included reducing debt, focusing hardware technology and sales resources, becoming an employer of choice, and refining a long-range growth and positioning strategy.
Rebuilding the Unisys Brand
The need to clarify and rebuild the Unisys brand through a formal brand positioning initiative and new advertising was identified as a top priority by Weinbach as he spoke to employee groups around the world immediately upon joining the company.
Reputation, along with focus on customers and the importance of our employees, is one leg of a "three-legged stool" metaphor Weinbach used to focus employees on the Unisys mission.
"Finding a mission statement people can remember is a rarity," Weinbach said. "Unisys people can explain the three-legged stool. As one part of our mission, I said we would methodically address rebuilding Unisys reputation. Improving financial performance is one mandatory step. Positioning and aggressively promoting a single-minded Unisys brand is another. We are in the process of doing both."
Unisys People Positioning
In an internal satellite broadcast yesterday to 33,000 employees around the world, marking the first anniversary of the "new Unisys," Weinbach said, "Unisys people were one of the reasons that I came here." He said that his homework in looking at second career opportunities indicated that in very difficult times, Unisys people protected customers' investments in mission-critical computer systems that ran their businesses.
"They rolled up their sleeves and worked with and stayed with the customer to get the job done," Weinbach said.
Weinbach said that in the past 12 months Unisys people have found that "growing the company is more fun than saving the company." He said that the smiling employees on the cover of the annual report released last March were "emblematic of a spirit and motivational surge that will continue to help drive growth to the benefit of customers, shareholders and employees alike."
Weinbach said that starting in December 1997, a people positioning was one of multiple positioning options Unisys and its advertising agency, Bozell Worldwide, researched with customers, employees and the financial community.
Weinbach said the charter for the brand positioning and advertising was twofold:
"We eat, sleep and drink this stuff."
Unisys said the campaign was presented to the company's 90 top managers at the end of July.
"The bottom line is that the showing of the TV commercials was followed by stunned silence… and then spontaneous applause," Weinbach said. "We have pushed the envelope and hope that people will agree that this is a new Unisys, one worth doing business with."
Unisys (NYSE:UIS) is more than 33,000 employees helping customers in 100 countries apply information technology to solve their business problems. Unisys solutions are based on a broad portfolio of global information services including systems integration, outsourcing, "repeatable" application solutions, consulting, network integration, remote network management, and multivendor maintenance and support, coupled with enterprise-class servers and associated middleware, software and storage. Repeatable solutions are focused on key vertical markets including financial services, transportation, telecommunications, government, publishing and other commercial markets. Headquartered in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, in the Greater Philadelphia area, Unisys 1997 annual revenue was $6.6 billion. Access the Unisys home page on the World Wide Web -- http://www.unisys.com -- for further information.
RELEASE NO.: 0998/6558
Unisys is a registered trademark of Unisys Corporation. All other brands and products referenced herein are acknowledged to be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.
Note: Any statements contained in this release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect the company's future financial results are discussed more fully in the company's most recent Form 10-Q as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Background: Unisys Financial and Operating Milestones
(September 1997 – September 1998)
Significant progress has been made as Unisys implemented a four-part financial and operating plan put in place when Lawrence A. Weinbach joined Unisys as Chairman, President and CEO on September 23, 1997.
Unisys financial performance has improved during the past 12 months. Revenue in second quarter 1998 was up 8 percent -- 11 percent without the negative impact of currency -- compared to 5 percent growth during second quarter 1997. Unisys expects earnings for 1998 to more than double the 46 cents earned in 1997 before one-time charges.
By October 1998, $1 billion of debt will be off the Unisys balance sheet, more than a year ahead of the target date Weinbach set a year ago.
In January 1998, the company confirmed that it would remain a full-line computer hardware supplier and continue to expand its high-growth information services business -- the source of nearly 70 percent of the company's total revenue. It said its portfolio of information services, hardware technologies and third party alliances provides business solutions to enable customers to be more competitive.
Unisys said that it would focus its R&D resources on high-end enterprise-class servers for its current customer base and new customers.
The January 1998 announcement said the company was exiting PC manufacturing, outsourcing production of commodity products to Hewlett-Packard instead.
Unisys said its partnership with Microsoft to bring mainframe-class capabilities to Windows NT through both services and hardware initiatives announced in October 1997 was developing on schedule.
In April 1998, a global large account sales program was put into place to address customer preferences for a single contact to present the company's broad range of services and hardware offerings.
In July 1998, a 401(k) matching contribution program for U.S. employees and a global stock purchase program with a 15 percent discount were put in place. Other "employer of choice" initiatives underway include Unisys University, a comprehensive approach to upgrade employee skills on a continuing basis. The program will be operational in January 1999.
In September 1998, a comprehensive, longer-term strategic plan, refining and further focusing the current information services and computer technology direction to achieve double-digit revenue growth and earnings growth two times revenue growth, was approved by the board of directors. The strategic positioning of Unisys services capability is of two types. Information services include outsourcing, repeatable solutions, systems integration and consulting. Distributed computing support services include network integration, network services and multivendor maintenance. The strategic technology foundation is the Unisys mission-critical mainframe heritage brought to open systems like Windows NT. Unisys will use this expanding portfolio of capabilities to solve client business problems on a global basis.
Background for RELEASE NO.: 0998/6558