Case Study:

Thomas M. Nies, Cincom Systems, Inc.

Cincom is one of the world’s most experienced software companies, serving clients including BMW, Citibank, Boeing, Northwestern Mutual, Federal Express, Ericsson, Siemens, Rockwell Automation, and Trane.

Thomas M. Nies founded Cincom in 1968 with just $600 and a card table. Yet, after leading Cincom for more than four decades, Tom remained virtually unknown in the software industry and business world.

CEO Branding Program

Get The Word Out Communications created a CEO branding program that focused on the entrepreneurial spirit of Cincom’s CEO. Our strategy incorporated personal branding to define Tom’s CEO stature and accomplishments within the business world at large. Key themes included:

Thought Leadership. We drew from Tom’s history in leading Cincom through numerous economic cycles and pursued this strategy through print, broadcast, Internet and speaking channels.

Centers of Influence. We introduced Tom to centers of influence in the business world and introduced Tom as a speaker, expert and interview source.

Community Leadership and Recognition. We developed a community outreach strategy to position Cincom as an advocate of entrepreneurship.


Our most central measure of success was in developing and leading the rollout of Cincom’s community branding strategy. Under our guidance, Cincom successfully showcased its embrace of entrepreneurship which became the touchstone of all our Executive Branding efforts; within one year, this strategy helped Get The Word Out generate considerable exposure and business world recognition for Cincom by raising Tom’s profile as an “elder statesman” within the technology sector and business world.


Get The Word Out Communications conceived and developed Cincom’s community entrepreneurship strategy, which it still embraces as a cornerstone of its brand narrative to this day. Our core program centered around the launch of Cincom: Encouraging Entrepreneurship Program (CEE), by which Cincom joined forces with colleges and nonprofit organizations to support entrepreneurial activity throughout the world by donating software, services, and resources to assist aspiring entrepreneurs.

Highlights of the program included the University Grant Program (with Northern Kentucky University and Ohio University College of Business), and the University MBA Plan Competition where students enrolled in MBA programs competed to win cash prizes, such as the 2005 Spirit of Enterprise MBA Business Plan Competition held in partnership with the University of Cincinnati.

Contributed Articles

A core strategy was gaining exposure for Tom in top business publications through contributed articles and op-ed pieces. Get The Word Out researched and presented topics around entrepreneurship and other related topics, resulting in the publication of several contributed articles under Tom’s byline in targeted print publications. Article topics aligned with issues related to Tom’s stewardship at Cincom while aligning with our overarching strategy to position Tom and Cincom as innovative business leaders.

Public Speaking

Get The Word Out created a comprehensive database of speaking opportunities and secured three top speaking slots:

Center for the Study of the Presidency, Washington DC Spring Fellows Conference, April 7-9, 2005

Red Herring’s Venture Market Europe April 12-14, 2005, London UK

Red Herring Spring Conference May 17-19, 2005, Monterey, California

“It was a fruitful experience working with Get The Word Out Communications to design and implement our CEO Branding program on behalf of Tom Nies. They contributed immeasurably in crafting a message, developing key themes, and presenting Tom as Cincom’s most valuable asset.”

Steve Kayser, Cincom Director of Public Relations

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