ASC Engineered Solutions
Building connections that last
Industrial pipe fittings, valves, hangers and supports are all part of the infrastructure that allows the modern world to function. Supplying these critical components had been the domain of two leaders in the space, Anvil International and Smith-Cooper International. Their products are used everywhere from oil fields and powerplants to industrial facilities, stadiums and commercial buildings.
The companies operated in the same markets but were largely complementary rather than being direct competitors across the board. This created an important opportunity and in 2019, the two joined forces.
While the merger created a single company on paper, legacy operations remained largely discrete. The organization had different technology systems and disconnected facilities. It was using the legacy corporate logos and names side-by-side and the workforce still identified with the company they had been working for prior to the merger. There was a clear need to bring the organization together under one brand that would signal the arrival of a new industry leader.
HOW WE HELPED
Tenet Partners was called in to help build a new masterbrand that would help to increase the value of the company. The brand had to unify the organization while encompassing its full portfolio of legacy product brands. There was strong equity in those brands, so a key consideration was finding a way to embrace their distinctiveness while also integrating them with the new corporate identity.
With the project gaining momentum just as the global COVID-19 pandemic hit, it became necessary to rethink the traditional brand development and implementation approach, which relied on face-to-face collaboration and engagement. The Tenet and client teams both rose to the occasion and established highly effective ways to collaborate virtually.
Uncovering shared strengths
The Tenet strategy team conducted extensive research, interviewing and surveying executives, employees and customers. Smith-Cooper was known for its internationally sourced products, global supply chain and high-touch service, while Anvil International offered leading U.S.-produced brands and deep knowledge driven by experience, along with distribution locations close to key markets. These characteristics complemented one another, pointing to a compelling combined value proposition.
The companies also shared a devotion to quality and service excellence. This common ground proved to be an important unifying brand attribute. It demonstrated that the new brand was the best of Anvil and Smith-Cooper, coming together.
Positioning as a solutions provider
Another central theme of the new brand was an emphasis on solutions. For the company’s leaders, the word “solution” had a specific meaning: a solution is the answer to a customer challenge, whatever that may be. It’s not something that the customer buys. Rather, it’s the sum total of how the company serves the customer, from quality products to support, expertise and service. This idea was deemed so important that it became part of the new name.
Unifying the companies, visually and verbally
Ensuring that neither company was seen as dominant was essential. The name ASC Engineered Solutions achieved this by bringing forward the equity of both legacy names. The Engineered Solutions identifier also elevated the brand to its desired status as a solutions provider that emphasizes engineering excellence. The tagline, “Building connections that last,” also carries multiple meanings. It refers to the company’s quality products as well as the strong, long-lasting relationships it creates, both inside the company and with customers.
The crisp, contemporary logo and design system reinforced those messages, with a graphic depiction of both precision and connectedness: a clear departure from the past and a visual presence that stands out among competitors. The flexible design system also lent itself to visual refreshes of ASC’s extensive product brand portfolio while maintaining the equity generated over many years.
Building up to the brand
An extensive employee engagement campaign prepared the workforce for the upcoming brand launch. This included an internal countdown microsite with weekly updates about the importance of brands, what to expect and answers to common questions. Tenet also put together a comprehensive “train the trainer” program to prepare selected ASC brand ambassadors to go on and train employees throughout the organization.
This broad range of internal launch-related communications helped prime employees for the arrival of the new brand, which was carefully planned to expose key parts of the brand platform including positioning, messaging and visual expression without fully revealing the brand itself. This helped draw attention while saving the high-impact reveal of the logo and name for launch day.
A carefully coordinated launch
With operations spread across a wide geographical footprint and many employees working remotely due the pandemic, coordinating the brand launch was going to be difficult. Since there was no way to make all employees available for a live launch event, a multipronged approach was taken. Tenet provided a scripted town hall presentation for brand launch, along with associated employee communications. The town hall was prerecorded and made available online, as well as being delivered live for those employees who could attend. This ensured that every ASC employee was exposed to the new brand on launch day.
For customers, an updated website encapsulated the new brand and featured specific details about the company – what had changed, why and what could be expected moving forward. Additional external communications included a digital and print advertising campaign, media outreach, a new corporate brochure and customer emails beginning on launch day and continuing well beyond.
The arrival of the ASC Engineered Solutions brand helped to reinforce the organization’s industry-leading position. No single competitor was able to match ASC in every category, giving the company a unique standing in the marketplace.
Going forward, the company is continuing to integrate its portfolio and technology capabilities to make it simpler and easier to do business. As one organization under a single banner, ASC stands ready to achieve its ambitious goals for growth.