CRN Exclusive: Curvature Makes Global, Digital Marketing Push

Curvature – formerly known as SMS | Curvature – received a fresh coat of paint on Monday, as the IT solutions provider announced a global rebranding six months removed from its game-changing merger with Systems Maintenance Services (SMS).

The marketing push will feature a redesigned logo, color palette, and web site, along with new icons, messaging and collateral materials, centered around the company's self-stated identity as a "bold disruptor" of the infrastructure support ecosystem, said Curvature CEO John Wozniak.

"We're going to do our best to make significant investments in branding," Wozniak said. "We believe the market demand and the increasing awareness for a leading independent (solution provider) is higher than it's ever been. You're going to see us put a significant effort into awareness around just how defined of an organization we are. A lot of it is also bringing to life what we've been internally to the external world."

[Related: SMS, Curvature Merge To Create $500M Independent Third-Party IT Services 'Category Killer']

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Curvature, No. 85 on the CRN Solution Provider 500, touted becoming the largest independent infrastructure solutions provider in the world after joining forces with SMS in January. The combined company can retroactively claim $550 million in revenue from the past fiscal year.

The rebrand marks Curvature's second since 2014, when the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based company shed its legacy name, Network Hardware Resale. That transformation and the current one have been overseen by Curvature marketing VP Randi Mitev, who noted that pre-merger Curvature – while a family business that was growing "exponentially" – had always been a sales-driven business.

With Wozniak at the helm, however, Mitev expects Curvature to significantly increase its marketing efforts and particularly its use of digital tools, including SEO, SEM, data analytics and, of course, effectively timed and placed campaigns.

"To capture a larger audience and grow our client base, you need marketing completely aligned with sales to cast a much wider net and take advantage of what digital marketing can do," Mitev said. "There will be a huge push and increase in what marketing is doing in the new Curvature. To have a CEO and an executive leadership that understands that value and what we can do together is huge. There'll be a big focus on digital marketing."

For Mitev, the underlying challenges since joining Curvature in 2014 not only involved the complex logistics of spearheading marketing initiatives on a global scale – where language, laws and customs all present potential roadblocks – but also shifting overarching attitudes toward marketing at a historically sales-first company.

Curvature is far from alone in having that sentiment. Many companies within the channel are inherently positioned as sales-first businesses, and as such, they are naturally protective of customer relationships.

For a powerhouse like Curvature that operates at the global scale, however, Mitev noted that sales efforts alone could no longer support such a massive company. That belief is certainly reflected in her company's growing emphasis on driving leads through marketing.

"Marketing is under the spotlight way more than it has been prior," Mitev said. "They want to see the stats. They want to see the tracking. They want to see how our campaigns are performing. They want to see what's growing traffic on the web site and what pages are doing well. It's an exciting and challenging time for my team, and globally, because the laws are so different overseas. But the possibilities of having a sales- and marketing-led organization are tenfold."