Shipping Titan Finds Its Brand Voice And Its Footing In Social Media

What does a Danish shipping magnate want with transparency and social media storytelling? Nothing, according to its management team in Copenhagen. That is, until the team was turned around by Anna Granholm-Brun, corporate brand manager at Maersk Group.

According to MIT Sloan Management Review, California-native Granholm-Brun has been with Maersk for four and a half years, helping the company embrace a new social savvy. She developed the company’s first social media strategy with C-suite support and has grown Maersk’s social community. The company has over 1.45 million likes for the Maersk Facebook page alone and often gets over 100,000 views of its corporate videos at the Maersk YouTube channel.

Granholm-Brun said social media marketing was at first a tough sell internally. “Executives don’t have a lot of time, so it was a matter of making sure that results and findings within social media are spoken to them in a language that they pick up on — that is, we need to point out the business case.”

Ah, the business case. Here’s Maersk’s “business case” for building the world’s largest and most efficient ship.

The business case also comes down to people, and Maersk has 152,000 employees (and potential brand ambassadors) around the globe to call on.

Granholm-Brun says, “What we end up doing is telling the story of what Maersk does and how we do it and the values that we live by through the very trustworthy and honest voices of the people who work for us.”

It is safe to say, “brand voice” is no longer something best whipped up in an ad agency brainstorm. Rather, a real living brand voice — one with resonance and power — is an amalgamation of the human voices who work at the company. That’s the well, and a smart agency or internal marketing team will dip its pail there.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.