CMO Close-Up with D. Jeffry Benoliel, VP-global strategy, Quaker Chemical Corp.

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On Sept. 10, Quaker Chemical Corp. debuted an integrated campaign in support of its process fluids and chemical specialties. The campaign, developed by gyro, New York, emphasizes Quaker employees, their expertise and their attention to detail. The tagline is “It's what's inside that counts,” with one print ad featuring the headline, “Our fluids come with a special additive. Heart.” D. Jeffry Benoliel, VP-global strategy at Quaker, oversaw the campaign. CMO Close-Up: Tell us a bit about Quaker Chemical and the headline, “Special additive. Heart”? Benoliel: We sell specialty chemicals to steel, automotive, metal-forming, cutting and grinding businesses. These are process fluids used in the process of making things, such as flat-roll steel. We're in most major steel mills around the world. Downstream, we sell to automotive manufacturers, with a focus on engine and transmission manufacturers. We're not that large a company, approaching $700 million in sales. Some of our competitors, such as Castrol, are much larger, and we have to be a little more nimble and urgent. The headline is to put the human face on the new campaign. We serve processes that have high value and high risk, so the cost is high if something goes wrong. So for years we developed a business based on relationships. It's the core of what we do, a combination of people, and products and technology that distinguishes us. Our brand works not only on a visual level by communicating the personality of the organization or by being memorable but also by providing an opportunity to tell our customers' own stories. CMO Close-Up: How is this an evolutionary campaign for the company? Benoliel: Because our business has been based on relationships, marketing was kind of secondary. Our messages were very discreet, and we never had one consistent message. Also, when you look at what everyone else was saying—our competitors and suppliers—we felt that in today's world, we needed to stand out. We believe our business model is different, but the question was how to stand out from the pack. We have two goals: to develop a consistent global approach to our message and brand, and to stand out from the competition based on those differences. CMO Close-Up: Tell us a bit about your marketing channels? Benoliel: The campaign includes online and print ads, email, direct mail, event marketing and PR. Our view is to go as wide as possible with all the channels that can reach our customers. All this surrounds our main channel, which is trade show participation around the globe. Our media is in support of events in North America, Europe, Mexico and China. While we have a great presence in certain markets, such as steel and automotive, we want to branch out to ancillary markets, such as the tube and pipe industry, coatings, mining, maintenance fluids and greases, for example. Also, while the Asian market is strong for us, we haven't had great success with the Japanese auto industry. People aren't familiar with us there; so our goal is to give folks an introduction to us and what we stand for. CMO Close-Up: We noticed that the channel lineup doesn't include social? Benoliel: We're in the early days with social, to put it bluntly—after all, we're elevating marketing for the first time. But social is critical and will grow quickly. The areas we'd piloting in social would be more in the indirect channels in support of the others. We just have to keep working on it, and remember that we're a relatively small company with a business model that still places lots of salespeople in the field.
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