Chris Leong, Schneider Electric's Chief Marketing Officer, explains how she has transformed the Schneider Electric brand and shares advice for future marketing leaders


Chris is a successful Schneider Electric leader

Chris is a successful Schneider Electric leader

Chris Leong, Schneider Electric's Chief Marketing Officer, is one of the company's successful female leaders and has been named by Forbes Magazine as one of the world’s Most Influential Chief Marketing Officers. Chris explains how she has helped transform the Schneider Electric brand and shares her advice on how marketing leaders can succeed. 

Making sure life is on for everyone

Chris explains how she created Schneider Electric's famous branding phrase, ‘Life is on’, as part of the company's marketing strategy.

“What’s marketing? Step one, it’s clarity of the brand through storytelling, and by bringing all these elements to the forefront,” she says. “We are the world’s biggest invisible brand. How do we come out to the playground?" 

“That’s when we came up with ‘life is on’. I didn’t invent that, it’s what the company already has. All marketing has done is bring it to the forefront and make it visible. We are here to ensure life is on for everyone, everywhere in every moment, whether you’re in work, at home, at play – you want it to seamlessly and intuitively integrate in your life.”   

Schneider Electric customers help shape the company

“So how do we tell that story when the market doesn’t even have it in place yet? We need to create a new category and say now, as an end user, you’re able to capitalise on that because we have a common platform that can do that for you,”  says Chris.

Chris believes that Schneider Electric can achieve this by prioritizing its customers through projects such as its Web Portal which receives 100 million visits each year. Customer feedback through the portal helps shape much of Schneider Electric's company actions and decisions. 

“It needed to be a destination portal,” explains Chris. “Our catalogue now comes with videos, as well as technical documents. You don’t have to go and look for things in different places. Historically, it was organised by industrial sector. Much like cookies are used on Amazon, now when you’re buying one product, we’ll recommend others you may be interested in to make your job as an electrician better.”

“We have a brand strategy to provide safety, reliability, connectivity, efficiency and sustainability and we measure against those and whether we’re ahead or below on each one,” adds Chris. “We live in a real-time marketing environment now, so tracking should be real-time.”

Advice on how to be a successful marketing leader

Finally, Chris shares some advice for future marketing leaders on what they need to do to succeed.

“You have to understand digital in the broader sense,” says Chris.

She also believes that a marketing leader needs to connect with people: "If you don’t take your people with you on the journey, and inspire them as well as demand from them, you’ll lose out,” comments Chris. “It’s my job to push boundaries. People need to feel pride, sense of achievement and breakthrough. I call this kick ass marketing. I don’t want to be a chief overhead officer, we’re chief investment officers.”

A successful marketing leader also needs to understand their customers: “We cannot have one marketing strategy, we need to address different customer types,” adds Chris. “Where they are in the lifecycle isn’t the same and we need to address that. We must surprise, delight and serve them well.”

Finally, Chris adds that a marketing leader needs to be in touch with the business. She says: “If you are out of whack with the business, it’ll be hard to succeed. The brand and the business are one."

“If you have child labour problems with a supplier, that’s a problem with your brand. If you are serving your customers poorly, even on a call or in face-to-face, it’s a brand problem. If the product fails, it’s a brand problem. The sum of all that is the business. It’s brand business.” 

Join impressive women like Chris at Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric seeks out and rewards people for being straightforward, open, passionate, effective and challenging the status quo. They want their employees to reflect the diversity of the communities in which they operate. They welcome people as they are, creating an inclusive culture where all forms of diversity are seen as a real value for the company. They are looking for people with a passion for success - on the job and beyond. Learn more about Schneider Electric's job vacancies.

 

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