Fisk Alloy

Situation:

When we first met copper alloy manufacturer Fisk Alloy, their logo, website, even their self-image, reflected the 40-year-old family-run Northeastern copper mill they once were. Boy, was that image out-of-date. In meetings with the CEO and CFO, we quickly learned that their commitment to R&D, partnership with the aerospace and automotive industries, and global footprint were anything but. And, thank goodness, as their goal was to exponentially grow the company over the next 5 years. They needed a zero-based brand strategy and go-to-market plan. 

Collaborating with the sales team, we identified a deep list of current customers and their competition in the traditional sales channels of wire stampers and cable harness manufacturers. We also detailed target OEMs in aerospace and defense, consumer electronics, robotics, automotive and heavy industry. We hypothesized that we might target beyond second and third tier distributors to create end-user demand.

Solution:

Over the next months, we conducted our intensive 4C’s market analysis, leading to a new Fisk Brand Essence “Wire Engineers.” This simple line captured the transformative notion that Fisk uniquely and relentlessly invests in category-leading innovations that make new things possible for end-users. Whether removing 20% of the weight in an airplane by offering a more finely-stranded, RoHS-compliant wire or enabling staggering financial savings by delivering increased flex-life to automotive assembly line robotics, without loss of conductivity, Fisk was engineering completely new wire capabilities. Unlike old-school competitors who were still manufacturing the same old strip-to-wire of the 20th century. 

The re-branding began with a new logo to graphically communicate the essential element — copper alloy wire — of all Fisk’s products, as well as serve as a rallying point for the breadth of the company, which had splintered into two camps, Fisk Wire and Fisk Conductor. At the same time, Fisk’s leadership embarked on a top-to-bottom reorganization that, leveraging our insights for vertical market solution-selling, aligned to industry segmentation over product lines. This was essential to Fisk’s future. External  re-branding was only the outward expression of a cultural transformation beginning inside the company. 

On the marketing front, we produced a total image makeover — including logo, packaging, website, trade show graphics, and e-marketing. We also developed a subtle internal re-branding effort with new employee badges, uniforms, company newsletter, banners for the manufacturing floor, even a video anthem that plays on a continuous loop in their lobby to this day. Both internally and externally, the task was to convey the technical sophistication and inventive character of this great engineering brand.

An advertising campaign was also developed to create awareness and shape perceptions of the true Fisk Brand. The advertising idea — that, at heart, most engineers have an irresistible urge to break things and put them back together — attested to Fisk’s understanding of their ideal prospect, the innovative R&D engineer. The Fisk brand strategy, Wire Engineers, was thus leveraged to connect with a new audience and transmit a kinship culturally and literally in terms of Fisk’s ongoing investment in new product design and manufacturing techniques. 

The big idea drilled down to the product level, as well. We produced vertical industry e-mail and webinar marketing programs to target aerospace and defense, industrial applications, automotive, medical device manufacturers and the robotics industry. Here we used concrete performance data to showcase how Fisk’s engineering mindset and relentless innovation paid off in application-specific advantages for OEMs.

Result:

We knew we had achieved our initial goal when, upon unveiling the new brand image at the next mega-trade show in Munich, the CEO of Fisk received an email entitled “Love” from the company’s largest global customer, rhapsodizing about the new identity. With launch of the email and vertical industry campaign, Fisk’s qualified leads increased over 30%, with one-third of those coming from the critical R&D engineers at OEM’s. This was true innovation. Fisk’s engineering and sales teams were increasingly invited to the very tables where the likes of Airbus, Formula 1, even NASA, were brainstorming solutions to their highest-priority challenges. Given the long sales, development, and testing cycle in this category, the full financial impact of this endeavor are only beginning to show. But, the CEO, Eric Fisk would be the first to tell you, “we now look like the global company that we are.” 

Closer Looks:

Brand Identity

Brand Film

Website Design

Collateral

Environmental Graphics

Video Anthem

Advertising

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