MasterMover® design and manufacture pedestrian operated tugs that move wheeled loads up to 120,000 kgs. They are based in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, export their products worldwide and have been in business for 17 years. Here managing director Andy Owen tells about his experience of rebranding globally.
How important do you think a strong brand image is in your sector?
It is imperative going forward – its our identity – without it we are lost in space, just another star without a name. It works internally as well as externally, people associate with a brand and it plays a part in customer loyalty. The refreshing part is that it is done, the name hasn’t changed but we’ve now given it a platform so that people can see it. How I feel now, I wouldn’t want to change it.
What made you decide to rebrand MasterMover®?
The old brand didn’t connect to us, we tried to do too many things with it over time and it didn’t coordinate. We wanted to grow our dealer network worldwide and knew that we needed a stronger brand image in order to do that.
What was the experience of rebranding like, did it disrupt your business in any way, was it enjoyable?
It was enjoyable. Re-grouping was a good process. It didn’t disrupt us at all – it joined everything and everyone who works in the business up together. It was a massive thing for us and everyone got behind it.
What if anything, did you learn from it?
That we should have done it sooner! We did a complete rebranding exercise that refocused our brand and set about making every piece of communication brand led. The result was one cohesive brand image. We managed for many years with a brand that we knew needed fixing but we didn’t know how until we had done it. We underestimated the true effect this could have on our business!
PITCH&CO added real value to the process, guided us through every stage, aligned our brand to our business vision and mission and then gave us a full tidy up. They identified that we didn’t need major changes, we didn’t need to change our name, but we needed clarification of our message and consistency in how we applied it. If I did this again I realize that it is better to do it this way then to make lots of changes over a period of time like we were doing. I also learned that the creation of a strong brand requires a strategic input and it is not just a question of getting a designer in to produce a tidy graphic – you have to get the strategy right before you roll it out. If I hadn’t commissioned PITCH&CO I would have forever been swapping and changing things and never being happy.
What feedback did you get from clients/peers/potential clients on the rebranding exercise?
We have always had a very successful business. We wanted to stand out and we’ve achieved that. Everyone has been really positive about it, everything is consistent, we have guidelines on how to use it which we can send out to our dealers and partners,- this keeps it under control and helps to make our brand more powerful.
What effect has the rebrand had on employees?
Very positive, you want to work in a place you feel proud to be associated with. A strong brand is something to be proud of. It has bound people together and helped us create a stronger team. Because we are very happy with our branding and know we are not going to keep changing it, it has therefore given us the confidence to invest in new work wear, sales shirts, overalls, better signage etc. which also benefits our staff and customers.
What effect did the rebrand have on your clients?
The whole purpose in our rebranding was to create uniformity across the globe and to make it very clear what we do, whilst demonstrating a local association with individual territories, all on the same platform. It has had a definite positive effect allowing us to do that both in existing and new territories.
Do you feel that the re-brand has been a contributory factor in the success of the business to date?
Yes definitely. It has helped increase the size of our dealer network around the world. When we talk to new dealers they can instantly see how our brand gives them localized support whilst being part of a much bigger world-wide network. Our brand is symbolic of a standard that potential dealers want to take on, without that strong branding they wouldn’t want to take us on. The level of interest from potential dealers around the world has increased by 30%. So far it has definitely helped us secure dealerships in Russia, China and Singapore.
Can you see a significant return on your investment?
It’s too soon to tell. We have an 18 month to 2 year timescale from initial contact from an interested party. But early signs are good.
A strong brand is built on a solid strategy. MasterMover® already had a very strong growing business, a culture of innovation and excellent customer service. Commissioning PITCH&CO to re-brand gave them the same professional focus on the outside as it has on the inside. Bringing the two together has breathed a new energy into the business, which is now working across many different countries around the world.