Commvault Struggles With Brand Message

Commvault have struggled for some time with a consistent, simple marketing message for the company and its products. In conversation with various Commvault representatives over the past couple of years, I’ve understood that Commvault wants to be more than just a backup company, but when asked about what, exactly, that means, the conversation has drifted back to how great the company’s backup products are.

I spoke to newly minted CMO Chris Powell this week about Commvault’s brand refresh, and the company’s struggle to remain relevant in a rapidly changing market.

While Commvault enjoys a strong customer base who clearly like the company’s products, and a strong position in a growth market, things have become a little shaky in the past couple of years. “One of our big challenges was marketing,” Powell acknowledges.

Powell said that the central theme he’s working on is “Data as a Strategic Asset”, which has three main elements: protecting data with the single instance store, efficiency with the virtual repository, and the ease-of-use/efficiency of a single solution for all data protection requirements.

Powell also lamented that ‘the market’ rewards newness. “Clearly, in this technology space, the shiny new object gets a lot of attention.” While this is true, it’s not particularly revelatory. Witness the prevalence of the word “New” when you next walk down a supermarket aisle. “Bringing relevance back to Commvault is a great and interesting challenge for us,” he said.

Well, quite.

I was taught branding by the inimitable Mark Ritson, and I drank deeply of his particular brand of Kool-Aid. He taught us that the best thing you can do as a brand manager is to focus on what makes your brand unique and special. Don’t copy others. Be the best you you can be. Be different, not merely better. It’s called differentiation, after all, not betteration.