The confidential client is a family-owned European industrial equipment manufacturing leader with €200M yearly revenue and 1k employees. The firm offers a range of industrial equipment, software and associated specialist services and currently invests in new growth opportunities beyond its core markets. 

As a B2B leader in many international industrial markets, such as Northern Europe, Australia and the USA, the client has achieved a premium reputation and brand positioning around reliability, quality and innovation. However, many industrial market segments have become a zero-sum game, characterized by incremental innovation and a relatively stable batch of cash cow product lines for the market leaders.

Attractive growth markets for European industrial players are currently in Brazil, Africa or Asia. Thus, the client made the decision to spur in-organic growth via M&A activities in core markets and to look for growth opportunities in its nascent growth markets, specifically Asia. To execute the growth strategy in Asia, the client engaged Ross Republic to reset its approach to global brand portfolio management and to help the management team develop a new brand architecture.

The project involved major rethinking due to the switch from design-for-value towards design-for-cost targeted at lower-priced product segments with very different buyer and supply chain demands. Thus, in order to support the client in commercializing the new product portfolio in the growth markets, Ross Republic also supported with structuring strategic insights about customer segments and their needs, competitive dynamics and product-price-market fit. This enabled to position a new product concept within the mid-priced market category that was new to the client. Building a flexible brand evolution roadmap further ensured the client can seize market opportunities as they arise.

Challenge

  • How to manage a global portfolio of brands in different price segments, while maintaining a coherent brand positioning?
  • How to tailor a new product concept for successfully entering a new mid-priced category?
  • How to transfer the brand equity and desirable qualities of the global premium brand?
  • How to leverage lean start-up methods for physical B2B products?
  • How to find a balance between commercial risk-taking in the new markets without risking the brand reputation in the core markets?

Solution

We steered an intensive, educational strategy sprint for the management team, with several pre- engagement points, one wrap-up session and a presentation for the management board.

At the engagement, as the first step, the client’s representatives of the growth market shared key insights of the local target groups as well as competitive environment and market dynamics.

We introduced a new brand portfolio management framework that helps companies to structure global and local brand building activities. The framework also serves as a solid foundation for expanding the business into new product categories or geographical markets.

Ross Republic, brand strategy

Global brand elements

What are the universal global brand elements that ensure a unified brand image and reputation management?

Local brand elements

How should  the regional brands be locally positioned to ensure optimal brand-market-fit and effective market coverage?

Market insights

What are the individual market requirements that influence the brand on a local level?

The project team further analysed pre-designed brand architecture scenarios to identify the one that increases business agility while safeguarding the well-known master brand.

Once the most suitable model was chosen, Ross Republic co-created a brand prototype together with the management team. It contained all the necessary information to proceed with the local brand pilot launch plans quickly. Finally, we co-developed a brand evolution roadmap that is aligned with the product development portfolio and guides the product designers through the desired brand features and benefits.

Deliverables

  • Strategic foundation
  • Decision-making framework
  • Global / local brand portfolio management framework
  • Brand architecture
  • Brand positioning
  • Brand prototype
  • Top management engagement
  • Board presentation

Impact

The management team was enabled to confidently make a series of growth and brand-related decisions. To accelerate the commercialisation process, we simultaneously documented the project wrap-up and co-created the board presentation. Our work with the client is still ongoing with Ross Republic supporting the execution of the client’s growth strategies.

About the author

Adrian Klee, partner at Ross Republic
PARTNER, DIGITAL BUSINESS

Adrian Klee

Adrian is an expert in building digital business in the financial services sector. He has worked in Fintech and Consulting before and specialises in market research, digital service development and lean venture building.