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Rebranding a fragmented enterprise

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Anyone who has been involved in rebranding a company or its products can tell you the undertaking is highly challenging but also highly rewarding if done properly. Two years ago, when Technetics Group consisted of seven different businesses with identities and branded products of their own, we decided to combine and rebrand them as a single business unit. But rather than conducting a phased-in implementation of the new brand, we decided to “rip off the Band-Aid” and introduce it quickly to the marketplace. Our parent company, EnPro Industries, had acquired the constituent businesses, many of which retained their original identities and operated more or less autonomously. When EnPro acquired another manufacturer of engineered products in 2011, it combined it with the other businesses to form the new entity. These businesses had undergone previous name changes, so their employees identified primarily with product brands, which remained the same regardless of what their companies happened to be called. The name Technetics was available and had some resonance in the marketplace, particularly in the aerospace industry, one of our core markets. This scenario posed significant challenges: to have our employees identify with the new brand, to retain those product brands with strong equity, and to establish, roll out and promote the new brand. The most important part of our rebranding effort was integrating the constituent businesses to function as a single unit and relinquishing the old identities. As a global enterprise, we relied on senior management to raise internal awareness and instill passion for the new brand. We encouraged employee engagement by conducting a companywide “old logo hunt,” with Technetics-branded prizes for anyone who turned up outdated materials. This helped eliminate the use of old brands that otherwise might have cost thousands of dollars to audit and remove. We also had to decide which of our product brands to retain, given that the company names had to go if we were to become a cohesive, global organization with a cohesive, global brand. In 2012, we rolled out the Technetics Group brand globally. We dispatched brand promoters to our far-flung operations, created a new website to seamlessly combine seven sites into one, and recreated all our signage, literature, stationery, business cards and other materials. In addition, we developed a brand manual providing specific guidelines for the look and feel of all external communications. Because our products must be traceable to their place of manufacture, plant place names are being retained internally but phased out externally to present a single brand and to encourage employee unity. Combining just two companies, let alone seven, can be a major challenge. Yet In one short year we were able to largely integrate and rebrand ourselves. However, rebranding is a continuous process, and much remains to be done to firmly establish the Technetics brand. Amy Davis is marketing director for the Technetics Group of EnPro Industries, a manufacturer of seals and components for critical industry applications.
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