Knowledge and Communication

Samia Mazari: Building a Personal Brand - Teaching Note

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Samia Mazari, CEO of automotive supplier Frings Auto Parts, is about to leave her post in order to join a larger automotive group. In her 6 years has head of Frings, she's managed to turn the company around while also developing - with the help of the company's corporate communications group - a personal branding and communications strategy. The case takes a look at Samia's career before joining Frings. An accomplished engineer that emigrated from her native country looking for a better future, she moved through the ranks of many companies before being appointed president (later CEO) of Frings in 2013. The case then analyzes her stewardship of Frings - a company that was still reeling from the 2008 recession - while exploring how she spontaneously developed a personal communications policy - an aspect that she had neglected in her previous positions. This branding policy become more structured and professionalized as the time grew, culminating in the "Internet of Frings", a branding effort that turned the company and herself into innovation leaders, garnering several industry awards for both Samia and Frings. Now that she's leaving her position, there are several questions. Who benefited more from her personal branding strategy? Frings or Mazari? Should Frings develop a new personal branding strategy for the incoming CEO? Should Mazari adjust her brand for her new company?
Bibliographic citation: OLIVER X., X., ISAAC SASTRE BOQUET (2021). Samia Mazari: Building a Personal Brand - Teaching Note. IESE, MT-56-E.
Date: 01/07/2021
Author(s): Xavier Oliver; Isaac Sastre Boquet
Document type: Teaching Note
Department: Marketing
Languages: English
Year of the events: 2013-2019
Geographic area: Global
Learning objective This is a case that helps to understand the communication process of a Business-to-Business company, and the first objective is to illustrate their success from the moment they decided to talk through their CEO. This not only made the CEO?s reputation grow, it also forced them to develop a whole communication program full of content and values (Personal Branding). Those contents and values were internally generated through a process of engaging the whole company and it?s worth seeing that after starting small, they grew through the observation of the reactions of their own people. Communication and the way they implemented it was key for unleashing their potential. A full-fledged internal communication plan made them realize that they had created something of real interest, that could be shared with other constituencies such as employees? relatives, personal connections, suppliers, competitors, clients and media. This case is a good tool to understand and discuss the Inside-Out approach of business communications. Another teaching objective is related to the time when they discovered that only through innovation, they could make a real difference and lead the sector. The Internet of Frings was the culmination of a change process that turned a manufacturing company into a creative and innovation-driven business, avoiding parity, lower priced products competition and allowing them to think big. A final teaching is to analyze the evolution of Samia?s principles from her beginnings as an ambitious engineer trying to make a living, to her final values: passion, engineering and innovation, improving people?s lives, sustainable growth and sense of purpose that could be embraced by many because they illustrate the highest level of leading capacity.