We have a whole lot to celebrate; 15 years of CXO Communication to be exact! And as a gift to ourselves, we’ve launched a new website that reflects how our brand has evolved. You can now find out more about our team, the work that drives our passion and what’s sparking our curiosity. Revisiting our own brand, and developing a website that embodies it, has been a labor of love. We’re thrilled to be able to share it with you as we pause for a moment to say Happy Birthday to CXO and thank all the incredible clients, partners and CXO team members past and present who have made this moment possible.
A bit of nostalgia
As is often the case, this process had us reminiscing about where we started as a firm. Let’s rewind to when CXO launched. Headed up by my then partner Andy Cunningham, our main office was smack dab in the middle of Palo Alto (fun trivia, it was right next door to Steve Jobs’ “secret” off-campus office). That’s four years before anyone ever touched an iPhone and just one year after the introduction of the BlackBerry. I didn’t even have my first Palm Treo yet, so honestly I am not sure how anything got done. We share a birthday with the iTunes Store, LinkedIn and the camera phone. In some ways, that feels like five minutes ago, but then I think about daily life without music streaming, a digital photo library or an on-the-go “Rolodex.” We’ve come a long way.
From the start, we’ve partnered with some of the organizations that have propelled this tech revolution forward, including Adobe‚ Cisco, NetApp, Equinix and RSA‚ to name a few. Now, 15 years later, many companies on our first roster are still our clients. And they are joined by a transformational generation of tech, professional services, financial services and healthcare companies that continue to advance how we live and work.
Today, the team of seasoned strategists at CXO continues to help companies articulate who they are, what they do and why it matters to their most important audiences. Although new vehicles for communication may emerge (hello, Snapchat, Instagram and WhatsApp) and old-school ones are headed back into style (we’re looking at you, direct mail), brand strategy and its importance haven’t changed. Your brand positioning, mission, values and visual identity are the foundation for everything you do and say. And they are still at the heart of our work, along with bringing brands to life through creative, inspired communications, including interactive content, branded experiences and smart employee engagement.
While we may have a new car in the garage (our new website!), our enduring brand pillars remain the same. We are:
Structured for success: By eliminating hierarchy, geographic constraints, unnecessary meetings and extraneous administration, we focus our energy on breaking down the barriers that stand between our clients and their success.
Strategic creators: We believe brand is not a superficial wrapper, but an expression of business strategy and a driver of behavior, decisions and execution. So while brand, communication and creative strategy are at the heart of what we do, business strategy and results are why we do it.
Senior leaders for senior leaders: We are seasoned players who can take on the tough challenges and high-stakes opportunities that matter most to executive leaders. Our experience allows us to get the job done without hand-holding. We have the confidence to take the right risks—while helping our clients do the same.
Outside insiders: We bring outside perspective into the center of client organizations. We bridge silos, flexing to fit where we’re needed and connecting the dots between the teams, ideas and ambitions that make our clients tick. Our clients view us as members of their teams, and we work hard every day to be trusted to help them achieve their dreams.
Since our founding, we have been fueled by the challenges, thrills and rewards of doing important work for important companies. 15 years later, while the world has changed a lot, this is what remains unfalteringly steady and true about CXO.
New employees and clients will often ask me what my “plan” is for CXO. As we’re now at the 15-year mark, I imagine I’ll get this question a bit more often. For many years, I struggled with the answer. I wondered, “Should I have a grand scheme for CXO that gets us ‘where we want to be?’ And oh, by the way, where do we want to be?” Lately, I have gotten comfortable with the simple truth. And that is, for good or for bad, we are not a firm that’s about us. We are about our clients.
“Getting big” isn’t why we exist. “Getting bought” doesn’t drive us. “Gaining recognition” isn’t job #1. We’re here because we’re intensely curious about what our clients will take on next. We’re here because we believe in them, and because together we regularly accomplish things that push us past what’s comfortable, inspire us to accomplish what’s critical and take our breath away when we get there.
Yes, we bring our brains to work, but we also bring our hearts and souls. We care deeply, as if our clients’ businesses were our own. And I think in the end that’s because they really are. It’s an honor to help them turn their greatest ambitions into realities. And we're excited to spark the next 15 years of change together.
If you’re just hearing about CXO, welcome! If you’ve been with us for some or all of these past 15 years, thank you! We’d love to hear from you. Take 10 minutes on us or email me at Kathleen@cxocommunication.com.