HCL: Building relationships

By Satrajit Sen , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | March 11, 2014
The IT company has launched a digital campaign called 'Relationship Beyond the Contract' in partnership with LinkedIn, and is promoting the app with a digital video.

Every relationship - be it between family members, friends, colleagues or clients and vendors - operates based on an agreement, whether written or unwritten. When it comes to business, though, not every contact goes beyond the contract.

Relationship Beyond Contract campaign video

Campaign Website

HCL Technologies, a global IT services company headquartered in India, believes that a contract can only convert to business advantage through a value centric relationship. Following this belief, the company has launched a digital campaign called 'Relationship Beyond the Contract' in partnership with LinkedIn, and is promoting the app with a digital video.

HCL has teamed up with LinkedIn to create a one of a kind application ( where one gets to acknowledge 20 of his or her professional relationships that have gone beyond the contract. The application designs a beautiful contract that defines their relationship, and adds a personalised note of appreciation for going beyond that contract. What's more? It lets users send the contract directly to their LinkedIn inbox, and lets them view it, download it and even preserve it as a print!

To promote the brand campaign, the company has also come up with a digital video that shows a relationship between a father and a son. The video captures the nuances of a father-son relationship while a contract of that relationship is read in the background. The video is conceptualised by ITSA and was published on YouTube on February 2. It has so far crossed 1 million views.

Speaking to afaqs! about the idea behind the campaign, Krishnan Chatterjee, senior vice-president and head of strategic marketing, HCL Technologies states that the brand campaign is what they believe to be the final piece of HCL's brand architecture.

"HCL's brand structure stands on four pillars that include identity, positioning, proposition and campaign. From 2005 onwards we have transformed our brand journey where we stand for our employees first and customers second. We have employees who work extensively on our clients' business without really bothering much about what is written there in the contract. In this course, one gets some clients who stand hand-in-hand during tough times and that is the kind of relationship we share with all our clients," Chatterjee adds.

Krishnan Chatterjee

Emmanuel Upputuru

Chatterjee further believes that joining hands with LinkedIn will help brand HCL in two ways as the app can be targeted both at the potential clients and employees. "In the traditional marketing era, it was all about making a film and promoting it extensively, but with digital flowing in, the game of marketing has shifted towards content creation and the customers promoting that content. Here as well, we have generated a piece of content and the consumers are acting as our brand custodians," he adds.

The video, which is used to promote the campaign, looks very international in nature, with the usage of international models and voiceover. This was a deliberate move by the brand, as HCL is primarily targeting the international market with this campaign. In India, HCL is very well known both among employees as well as clients and it is time to build the brand's international image.

"Almost all our competitors in the international market play on product and pricing, but none focus on client-relationship. We want to bring in a change in the kind of language that technology companies speak with their clients and hence the focus is on going beyond contracts," Chatterjee adds.

Speaking about the brief from the brand, Emmanuel Upputuru, founder and chief integration officer, ITSA, says that the video actually demonstrates how customers and clients should be dealt with by different businesses.

"The IT services market is very different from all the creative challenges in my career so far, because it's not a product that you touch and feel or a service that you experience as a direct consumer. It took time for us to understand this somewhat complex landscape. But when we put our heads down we found this simple truth in their own promise, in their working culture. I am delighted that we could articulate this by coming up with 'Relationship Beyond the Contract' and convey this message in an emotional touching film. This messaging is being rolled out in a full-fledged integrated campaign globally," says Upputuru.

Upputuru believes that the juxtaposition of the emotional bond along with the straight forwardness of a contract actually shows how one can go beyond the contract. "The brief was to simply establish HCL's brand proposition on the basis of client relationships and the film served the purpose well," he informs.

Speaking about investing on a digital brand building campaign, Chatterjee says that HCL has chosen digital as its battle ground to take on competitors. "We can't catch up with our international competitors as they have deep pockets to invest on traditional media, but on digital we are the leaders. We are far ahead of our competitors as far as digital presence goes," he adds.

In February, HCL Technologies had launched the first ever global Twitter recruitment campaign titled #CoolestInterviewEver. HCL started conducting a series of 'interviews' exclusively over Twitter, offering the winning candidate an opportunity to work on a year-long strategic project with the company's top management. The brand has more than 5 lakh fans on Facebook and more than 2 lakh Twitter followers.

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