Saab is a leading global manufacturer of innovative solutions in both military defence and civil security, with operations on every continent. Saab's vision for the future is to get closer to its customers and galvanise its unique position in the global defence and security market. To help realise this ambition, Saatchi & Saatchi Pro devised a new brand positioning, and developed a comprehensive communications framework to assist the company in implementing the positioning globally. We started some five years ago by working with Saab's people to gain consensus around the company's culture and its points of difference: its DNA. Through this collaborative process we distilled a variety of diverse opinions and rich anecdotal research into one simple insight: it's Saab’s unique and clever way of thinking that gives it, and its customers, a competitive advantage. We expressed this in both a compelling phrase, and a motivating manifesto. With 'the thinking edge' established as the brand essence, we returned to internal stakeholders to ask what they needed from communications: how were they using it to win business? How did their needs change as the sales process unfolded? What was on the minds of their customers, their staff, their market and their industry?
Armed with interview-led insights we were able to build a new framework around just five key topics. These topics are rooted in stakeholder needs, from employees and business partners to governments, journalists, and of course, customers. We beta-tested our proposed communications framework in real-life situations which provided useful insights – insights that ensured it wasn't just fit for purpose, but was applicable and salient throughout the sales process. The framework is now easily accessible via an online portal for Saab communicators around the world and is providing a flexible but consistent resource for developing brand and marketing communications, allowing both corporate and customer audiences to be engaged with a clear and coherent brand positioning and relevant narratives.