Back in January, I illustrated that Marvell was in the middle of a comeback and talked about its history and future. I said, “the growth opportunities look immense, as well as I believe the company is poised to take advantage of the upcoming data explosion.” While I believe Wall Street does not always indicate the future potential of a company, I think it was right here as the stock is up nearly 40% since I wrote my first article. I would say I was spot on.
To celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary, it announced its new brand and identity. What is so unique is that Marvell has been already changing over time, starting internally, before rebranding. This is a different order than most companies take. Instead of announcing a rebrand and then delivering on the promise, Marvell is nearly “there”, and is now announcing its new identity.
Marvell’s new identity is characterized by quality, execution, relationships, and strategy. Although Marvell is announcing its new brand, it is also keeping many classic elements of the company and are even preserving elements that the company was based off such as incorporating the old logo into the new one.
First, a history lesson
Marvell’s mission for change started in 2016, when the company hit a low point, and was under investigation by the SEC. Like I pointed out in my other Marvell blog, in 2016 “… the company launched an internal investigation by the Board’s Audit Committee and came under investigation by the SEC. Though the audit committee eventually found no evidence of fraud, it found that Marvel’s management was putting “significant pressure” on its sales teams to meet revenue targets. Additionally, it found that for some transactions revenue was booked not in accordance with its revenue recognition policies and that the company did not always fully follow its own internal controls. The company also received a letter from Nasdaq’s Listing Qualifications Staff threatening delisting over the company’s delayed filing of its Form 10-K for fiscal 2016…” To go from the lowest, 2016 Marvell to 2020 Marvell, lots of changes had to be made.
A 180-degree shift
Since then, Marvell’s mission has been to be reliable, and help people stay connected and to be an essential basis to keep the world running. For the next few years, Marvell took the opportunity to do a whole company and brand 180, and to change from the inside out. Many positive changes were enacted, and much team accountability was expected by CEO, Matt Murphy. Murphy started the movement within, which brings us now to the announcement of the rebrand. From the inside out, the company has changed, and the “new Marvell” is finally here. Again, I urge you to check out the “comeback story” here.
The company culture will now strictly emphasize quality and reliability. Marvell wants to ensure customers that they are safe in the hands of “the new Marvell”. Marvell has now completed the industry’s “most complete portfolio of semiconductor solutions for data infrastructure, including leadership positions in storage, networking, compute, and security” as Stacey Keegan, Senior Director of Brand Marketing and Global Communications points out. Despite this success, Marvell believes that the most important priority is the relationship between Marvell and its customers. For 25 years, Marvell has stored many technology company’s data securely, and its determined to keep finding more and more solutions to secure their customers ambitions. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Marvell has made many internal changes, but also impressive external ones.
Marvell brand sizzle reel (Marvell)
Marvell’s rebrand is fronted by their sleek new logo. Inspired by even their most original brand logo, keeping the “M” as the most important aspect. Its website has also completed been redone, with new photography, highlighting people and making the atmosphere of its site friendlier. New colors, blue, black, and teal are also revealed which give the new website a fresh taste. Along with new business cards, jackets, and other goodies… what is next? Maybe some Marvell COVID masks? The “new Marvell” is here, and its bold.
Marvell’s strategy shift was necessary for survival, following 2016. After Matt Murphy became the new CEO, the company looked drastically different. Only half of Marvell’s workforce came from the old Marvell, and the other half came from other acquisitions such as Cavium and Avera. Focusing mostly on storage and networking, the company was evolving and making some big changes, especially for a chip company. The culture, internal structure, and external changes have created a new company and “new Marvell”. This rebrand and change happened over time, and in the best way. Now announcing these changes to the public and their customers, Marvell has already done the hard work, and has physical proof of a new culture and a new meaning.
One thing I had to ask when I was briefed on the new branding is it was ambitious enough. Can Marvell do better than be trustworthy and efficient given the company had undergone so much change already and delivering on the promise? Chris Koopmans, Marvell’s Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Operations pointed out what should have been more obvious to me.
I know this company better than most, so I have seen it from a broad company point of view all the transformations, including major acquisitions and divestitures that have reshaped the company. This rebrand is a big, public step to represent the big changes with respect of the past even down to the new “jingle”.
But what is next for this chip company’s brand? Isn’t it done after the brand launch? Anyone who has been through a brand relaunch know the work is just beginning and it’s a multi-year journey. Brand related, I think its next job is to continue to deliver on the brand promise, but the most important part is speaking out about it in a higher way. This comes down to bolder marketing, and more executives speaking in more places about more things that rise above the products. The industry term for this is “thought leadership” and I’m looking forward to seeing how this gets executed.
Congrats to Marvell on a nice launch during an exceedingly difficult time and reversing the order of how it usually plays out.
Note: This blog contains contributions from Moor Insights & Strategy intern Catherine Moorhead.