Sharpened Corporate Brand Delivers the Ultimate Sale for an Insulation Manufacturing Company
Services | Research, Strategy, Branding, Creative Communications
The year is 2003. Senior leaders of our client traveled to Indianapolis for a corporate branding seminar conducted by 5MetaCom. The company, makers and marketers of all-purpose mineral wool insulation faced stiff marketplace competition – and an imperative from its owners to grow market presence and share, and to attract a buyer.
Mineral wool, one of the oldest forms of insulation, was seen by buyers as an undifferentiated commodity. Companies selling it tend to all look and act the same.
Price competition eroded profits, along with the acquisition value of participating companies. The dream of building a value-adding leader in this market seemed hopeless.
On their drive to Indianapolis, the CEO and VP of Marketing wondered: “Can our corporate brand be the tool to achieve our daunting objectives: differentiate, grow sales, boost prices, build corporate value – and find a strategic buyer?”
Within a few short years they discovered the happy answer.
Research: Understand current reality and what’s possible
- Qualitative research with a cross-section of professionals from across the building industry revealed:
- Our client was used extensively in high-rise construction.
- Our client was the insulation of choice in several high-profile projects.
- Customers found the company easy to work with and liked the value-adds they brought to high-rise construction projects.
Strategy: Prototype the desired brand
- Positioned our client as the best solution for high-rise construction.
- Promoted the use of our client in high-profile construction projects.
- Created greater product differentiation by comparing our client’s benefits to other kinds of insulation (fiberglass, foam), rather than to other brands of mineral wool.
- Leveraged company’s green profile—critical to architects looking to design more sustainable structures.
- Packaged and branded our client’s suite of value-add services in high-rise construction.
Creative Communications: What to say, how to say it
- Brand value-add services
- Positioned to reduce commoditization factor: Our client was the only one offering these services that made high-rise jobs easier for specifiers, contractors and architects.
- Visually highlighted our client’s use in high-profile, recognizable buildings like One World Trade Center—web, sales collateral, advertising and PR.
- Advertised in trade media catering to high-rise construction segment.
- Emphasized benefits of our client vs. other types of insulation (fiberglass, foam) through simple comparative graphics.
- Produced case studies of our client’s use in high-profile projects.
- Sold the company’s specialized high-rise value-added services.
- Bold photography of high-profile projects emphasized that our client was trusted in some of the most important and challenging high-rise structures in the world.
- Simple, clear diagrams, technical guides and copy demonstrated the value the client added to high-rise projects, while additional tactics presented the range of services available through its value-added service offerings.
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Swayed by our client’s market leadership, sharp positioning and effective branding, a large industry player eventually acquired the company. In the 10 years prior to its acquisition, the company achieved a 15-fold increase in EBITDA.
The acquirer, one of the world’s most recognized brands, saw our client as a strategic addition to their portfolio. Moving forward, the company maintained the value-added services and expanded them to all of its commercial insulation offerings.