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A while ago I used to work for a California company in the Information business that was bought by the then Thomson Corp . So, in the manner of keeping a desultory track of old acquaintances, I always pay attention when Thomson is in the news. They became Thomson Reuters in 2008 following the merger with the famous news agency. Given that Thomson Corp. was in the business of disseminating information, there was real promise in the merger. They ran a branding campaign at that time about ‘Intelligent Information’ ands it had considerable impact. Here was a company positioning themselves perfectly for our Information Age.

Image courtesy Businessweek

Now I hear that Thomson Reuters is launching a new branding campaign around the idea of ‘Knowledge Effect.’ The company finds that even many of their clients do not have an idea of the wide range of industries that they work with – there is awareness of the verticals but not of the breadth of the company’s knowledge database. So, Thomson Reuters has decided to renew their corporate brand much like a renewal of wedding vows. The bride and groom are the same but here is an occasion to say this is who we are, we are happy with who we are and hope to continue this way happily ever after.

I like the idea of refreshing the brand and the emphasis on moving from information to knowledge. It is an interesting shift in focus and directs the attention to the fact that Thomson Reuters offers valuable professional knowledge. I am not entirely sold on the ‘effect’ idea. Access to information is the single biggest impact of the Internet and social media explosion of this last decade. It has restructured the way we live our lives and conduct our businesses. Thomson Reuters is in the thick of this re-framed world and they are possibly underscoring their part in this by talking of “effect.” But, it seems to dilute the concept somewhat.

I also thought it was interesting that Thomson Reuters is primarily focusing on digital media for this campaign with ads to appear in CNBC.com and LinkedIn.  Ogilvy creative director Chris Curry is quoted as saying, “The digital space offers a dynamic canvas for drawing audiences in through storytelling that demonstrates how Thomson Reuters empowers professionals to have an impact on the world around them, reinforcing the key brand message behind the campaign: The right information in the right hands leads to amazing things.”  Thomson Reuters has even launched a community blog around the idea of the Knowledge Effect and have announced it on their Facebook page. It really is the era Internet and social media marketing!

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