Look in Your Rearview Mirror…Old and Stodgy Might Be Gaining on You

April 15th, 2010 by Rob Goodman

When you hear the names Proctor & Gamble and BlueCross BlueShield what images come to mind? Conservative? Old school? Bureaucratic? I think it’s safe to say that these two companies, fairly or unfairly, aren’t exactly known for being progressive or nimble. Yet both of these well-known American brands have recently implemented programs that might surprise you.

laptop P&G is letting several hundred of its workers use their own laptops as part of a workplace experiment.

This pilot program is based on a simple idea: many of P&G’s younger employees would rather use their own laptops than corporate-issued systems.

Blue Cross Logo BlueCross BlueShield plans to introduce online care this year, a service that allows patients to connect with a physician on-demand 24 hours a day using webcams for video links, or secure text messages or telephone conversations.

Toyota Badge I find that the word “brand” is thrown around quite loosely nowadays. Establishing brand takes careful planning, time and smart execution. Yet all the hard work in the world can be thrown by the wayside by a simple misstep – think Toyota could have handled that little gas pedal/floor mat issue any better?

If someone were to ask me what companies come to mind when I hear the words progressive, nimble, risk taking, I don’t think of P&G or BlueCross BlueShield. Yet both of these companies, albeit for different reasons, have adopted new technologies and policies which have helped to strengthen their already strong brands. By implementing these two new programs I believe that both companies are doing a good job of reinforcing their already strong brands by leveraging technology to adapt with the times.

Vision signBy using new technologies and new methods of communicating with their employees and customers, both P&G and BlueCross BlueShield have shown that they have the guts (in a rough economy) to evolve their own brand strategies and take chances.

Are there other conservative, old school companies out there that are showing a willingness to adapt to the modern times?

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