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Repositioning Xerox

From being product-centric to becoming process-centric, Xerox announces its shift with a new logo, reports Anita Sharan.
Hindustan Times | By Anita Sharan
UPDATED ON APR 18, 2008 12:26 AM IST

Andrew Horne, managing director, Xerox India Limited, looks like he has something significant to say. So when he starts talking about a new Xerox’s logo launched this January, the built-up anticipation wilts — another logo change story… No, no, Horne says quickly. “I’m going to talk of a positioning transformation. The logo is just a part of that. And it’s working – we’ve had 16 quarters of exceeding analyst forecasts in financial performance.” Hmm.

Xerox has had a prolonged history of troubles. As Horne puts it: “The 80s and 90s were disastrous. We were not recognising competition; we were fast asleep on patent expiry; the Japanese responded faster; the 90s were about the colour revolution — we invented the multi-functional device, but competition responded faster…”

It’s a different brand now, Horne claims. From being a copier and printer brand, Xerox has become a software and services brand. “We believe hardware is integral to our strategy,” Horne explains, “but we’ve now moved to becoming an important part of the documentation process. From selling to procurement, we’ve become a brand that interacts with IT.”

He says that Xerox now addresses the documentation process in an organisation, and helps in efficiency and cost savings. “We sign a 25-30 per cent commitment to savings in the first year,” says Horne. In this, Xerox offers compatibility of its hardware systems to other existing (even competing) brands in the documentation process!

The process efficiency role involves consultancy, which is emerging as a profitable business stream. Through the third quarter of 2007, service deals generated $2.5 billion in annuity revenue, an eight per cent increase from the previous year. Horne says consultancy fetches the brand around 25 per cent of its revenues annually.

Xerox, which today projects itself as a technology and services brand, believes that it’s finally on the right track. And coming back to the new identity (the logo), created by Interbrand, it believes it’s struck it right. The ‘Xerox’ is all in a contemporary lower case, alongside a sphere-shaped symbol with lines that link to form an illustrative “X,” representing Xerox as a global company with human connections made through its global reach. All in a young, vibrant red. The attempt is to make the identity open and engaging.

Hopefully, the documentation process won’t run out of paper in the future (remember the paperless office?). Asserting that currently, paper usage is on the rise, Horne argues that Xerox’s evolution is bigger than just a paper management service. “Xerox is a work in progress,” he concludes. “The redesign is the foundation.”

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