Teresa Barreira on Publicis Sapient's rebranding and positioning

09 September 2019 Consulting.us 5 min. read
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At the start of this year, consultancies SapientRazorfish and Sapient Consulting were merged into one brand, Publicis Sapient. To understand more about the rebranding and how Publicis Sapient positions itself in the marketplace, Consulting.us sat down with the firm’s chief marketing officer Teresa Barreira.

Can you kick off by telling us more about Publicis Sapient and what the firm offers its clients?

Publicis Sapient is a digital transformation leader that is focused on partnering with established companies to help them lead in the digital revolution. Most companies today understand they need to reimagine their business to be digital-first and why it’s become an imperative, but they struggle with the “how” – how to do it and how to get started.

At Publicis Sapient, we work directly alongside our clients to create realized value through our startup mindset and agile method by uniquely fusing strategy, consulting, design, experience, and engineering with creative problem-solving.

For us this is natural, as we’ve been digital pioneers for almost 30 years. We’ve harnessed the power of technology and ingenuity to help the world’s biggest brands, including Nissan, Nestlé, Walmart, Royal Bank of Scotland, and others.

Teresa Barreira, Chief Marketing Office at Publicis Sapient

One example of a standout digital transformation is our partnership with McDonald’s. To keep up with new expectations for convenient and innovative dining, McDonald’s needed to transform its customer experience. Publicis Sapient partnered with McDonalds to develop a fully mobile experience for remote ordering, convenient curbside pickup and delivery, as well as a personalized drive-thru kiosk experience.

What was the reason behind the recent Publicis Sapient rebrand?

First, we wanted our brand to be purpose-led and to reflect not only who we are today but our evolution. In our minds, evolution is not only inevitable, it’s necessary. Our goal was to express that evolution and showcase how we bring an entirely different approach to digital transformation compared to the traditional ways that consultancies have offered in the past.

Second, we needed to signal to the world and our people that we are unifying our business under a single global brand. Relaunching as Publicis Sapient was not just about a new logo or design – but about unifying our business and company. In doing so, we needed to move from a collection of brands to a master brand to unify and focus the entire company around the massive digital business transformation opportunity. Our new brand helped bring us together under a shared mission and set of values, but most importantly signaled to the market that in order to transform our clients we had to evolve ourselves.

Third, we wanted the brand to embody our collective history of over a dozen leading brands with a transformative spirit. Our new brand brings together over three decades of engineering, design, experience, consulting, strategy, and data all into one unified master brand – Publicis Sapient.

How does Publicis Sapient view digital transformation?

Digital is fast becoming the lifeblood of every sector. As the rate of change is accelerating across all industries, it is clear that being digital is not only required; it is essential to any company’s survival. We see digital business transformation becoming more and more important as companies realize that piecemeal digitalization isn’t going to cut it; these companies need a 360 digital transformation to better serve their customers in the long term. Through this process, companies must realize that digital transformation is not a destination but a constant journey that evolves along with technology.

Teresa Barreira, Chief Marketing Officer, Publicis Sapient

What is it like being a woman in a male-dominated sector?

This is an important question and one I get asked often. Some progress has been made in that we have now started to see more women in leadership roles, and it’s generally agreed that we need more female leaders in tech. Unfortunately, it is still the case that women are a minority across this sector at all levels, especially the C-Suite. It’s something we, as an entire industry, need to change. Having more women – and more importantly, BAME women – in leadership positions ensures that when key business decisions are made, opinions are diverse. Research has shown that women are better at problem solving.

As a woman in a leadership role, I feel it is my duty to actively mentor young and emerging female talent throughout our organization, which is something I am extremely passionate about. While every tech company is quick to say ‘we want more women or BAME representation or LGBTQ+ leaders’, it’s only by developing a pipeline of talent and taking a stand that we can make that goal a reality. The buy-in needs to be universal.

Above all, it is crucial for business progress: I’m a true believer that by having more people with diverse backgrounds and experiences in leadership positions we can ensure that we have broader and richer thinking with greater innovation, thereby making the best decisions for our clients, and creating better products for humanity.

Teresa Barreira joined Publicis Sapient in March this year, having previously served consulting and technology firms including Deloitte, Accenture and IBM. She has over two decades of global, business-to-business marketing experience in the IT and professional services industries.