Box: rethinking our strategy

The first question I was asked when joining Box was the hardest one: what do we do, and why are we here? Far more than just philosophical soul-searching, it was absolutely the essential strategic issue to solve. After inventing the feature-set a decade prior, Box had ceded mindshare to a massive range of competitors and needed a radical overhaul of both positioning and narrative to break out and thrive.

Beyond just brand positioning and into category creation

It’s long been said that businesses don’t create categories, that analysts do. Particularly in enterprise software companies, this is long the domain of Gartner, Forrester and the like. But in this case, Box wasn’t left with a choice. The analysts had agreed that the old definitions were no longer applicable to the services that Box offered, and yet their replacement categories for Enterprise File Sync and Share, as well as Enterprise Content Management, were going to still be years away. So the challenge from a brand perspective was not only in identifying the emotional and rational essence of the relationship with customers today but to go much further and give concrete solutions under the auspices of a new category altogether: Cloud Content Management.

The insight:
Business only works when we all work together

In the digital age, information needs to flow freely through any system in order to have value. And while we’re all believers as it relates to sharing information over the web or through social channels, most businesses today operate with roughly the same sophistication as they had at the end of the 20th century.

To break free, businesses need to rethink how content can flow seamlessly between people, processes and programs. Real digital pioneers succeed the most when their teams are free to share each other’s ideas, draft off of each other’s investments and ensure every bit of data is perfectly up-to-date. And, by implication, this is why content is at the actual heart of digital transformation.

Box is Where All Your Work Comes Together

All of the insights and foundational strategy came together in my first month at Box, as our major customer event, BoxWorks, happened four weeks after I arrived. Building the keynote that Aaron would deliver on day one became the driving moment to get everything right, helping us position the portfolio as a consolidated whole rather than a random kit of parts. The story was incredibly well received by press and analysts, and kickstarted the growth of the stock from $11 to over $26.

The “Ring of Fire,” depicting the power of a unified content system.

Bringing it all together

The comprehensive overhaul of the company’s messaging meant a total change in every part of global communication and go-to-market activation, from the mission of the company through the brand positioning, and from thought leadership and our point of view all through the necessary global sales enablement to ensure the entire organization was deeply aware of the use cases and solutions Box provides. The end result, the company’s Strategic Messaging Architecture, remains a rock-solid body of work that drives everything they do.

Power how the world works together
Work as one
Every company needs to work like a digital-first company
Productive anywhere, flatter hierarchies, extended enterprise as the new norm
Designed to evolve, renting vs owning, intelligent and augmented systems
Simple, personalized and constantly improving and iterating
Cloud Content Management
The simple and secure way to bring all of your people,
information and applications together to revolutionize how you work