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Discussing transformation with the Global CMO at BT Global - #BehindTheBrand

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As an established and much loved brand in the UK, BT Global has a history of transforming people's lives and connecting them through the power of technology. It then makes sense that, contrary to what some may think, BT works to be a pioneer of change and transformation, and indeed it was one of the brands pushing for a digital office when the pandemic hit.

It is in such way that Antonia Barton, Global Chief Marketing Officer at BT Global, introduces the story of a brand she is incredibly passionate about, one she was proud to support throughout a year like no other. BT Global aims to leave a lasting impact through boldness, inspiration and ambition, challenging the norm to cut through the noise of an overly saturated market. With such a strong identity, we can clearly see why Antonia is so determined to bring this incredible brand to success.

Today we are getting Behind the Brand that "connects people for good." Take a look at our inspiring chat with Antonia and the BT brand below.

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How was your brand born and what does it do?

BT is an established 160-year-old brand that has a global presence across 180 countries but a staple, much loved brand in the UK. As a telecoms and media company we’re in every home in the UK keeping people connected – a critical role in the world we’re currently living in. 

What is one unique aspect of your brand?

We’re transforming. 

BT’s history and legacy is rooted in telecoms but we’re no dinosaur brand, contrary to what some people may think. We’re transforming into a technology brand so are completely reshaping who we are, what we stand for and how we should be perceived. BT’s the fourth biggest brand in the UK, so taking a brand of that age and stature and shifting it to appeal to the next generation is a huge undertaking, and something pretty unique for a 160 year old brand. 

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Can you describe your brand’s personality in one sentence?

A brilliantly British brand that connects people for good.

What was the biggest challenge for the growth of your brand?

Outside of the UK, BT isn’t as well known. In order to continue to grow we’ve got to build that awareness on a global scale. 

Which was the first huge success that you can remember?

I’m two years into this role so we hit the pandemic when I still felt relatively new. One of my proudest achievements in that time has been the speed in which we adapted to support our customers many of whom needed help to mobilise their workforce throuhgout COVID-19. Our global campaign ‘Do the digital office’ was launched in May to support people in creating their own home office with a suite of products and services. 

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What’s the biggest opportunity for you and your brand in the next year?

We’ve a great opportunity to differentiate in the category. The time to strike is now. Creating standout and bold creative underpinned by effective, flexible customer solutions is where we’re placing our energy. 

Do you work with an in-house creative team, an agency or both?

A bit of both. Wunderman Thompson is our lead creative agency supported by some other external partners too. 

What do you look for in a creative agency?

A team that’s bold, full of inspiration, outgoing and has the confidence to never shy away from a challenge. 

What is one tip you would give to other brands looking to grow?

Be bold and challenge the norm. The market is so incredibly saturated, so do something different. It’s not creativity for creativity sake, ensure it’s backed with the data, credentials and aligns with your positioning, but let’s all be a little braver. 

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What is your current role about? Any ‘typical’ day?

Busy!

In all seriousness. I start the day around six am when my daughter gets up. The next two hours are all around her and getting her ready for school. When the workday starts it’s a mixture of meeting with my teams, reviewing creative campaigns and yes finding 5 minutes to grab lunch to eat on another call. It’s largely back-to-back but I know I’m not alone there. Whilst I’ve found I am more productive at home; the pace has increased so much the intensity of the day has also done so. 

What’s your one big hope for the future of branding?

I love being marketed to. I love it when I get an email and it’s talking my language. I have no fear of handing my information over and completely buy into personalisation. That’s what I want to see really succeed in the future. 

Do you have any websites, books or resources you would recommend?

I take inspiration from those around me. I’m currently reading Richard Branson’s latest book for instance. 

I’m also wired to bounce off others, so I ensure I surround myself with positive people. 

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