Quick Study: Dressing a Company to be Sold

Here’s an example of a different type of sales support from our archives, which still causes us to shake our heads today.  A small, 3rd generation manufacturer of all types of switches, for all types of applications, retained us to dress up their image, for the purpose of selling the company—although that was not disclosed to us until the end.

We first inquired about their logo, which was dated, but were told that was off limits.  We recommend a tag line, which they adopted.  Switches. Solutions. Satisfaction.  This took them further away from a commodity products perception and more towards a customer solutions orientation.

Next we focused on the cover of their catalog and the primary image ad that ran in most directories.  Instead of a hodge podge of switches sitting on a table, we crafted a look and a tone of a more sophisticated, mature organization.

C&K-Catalog C&K-Panic-Ad-english

Finally, to dress up buildings for VIP visits, we created posters of well-known products and companies (such as Apple and Motorola) with their switches inside.  The implication was clear: leaders do business with other leaders.

C&K-Poster-AppleC&K-Poster-Dell

The good news was that the company was sold in less than a year for a 144% premium to the book value for family shareholders.  The bad news was that we lost the account.
The acquiring multi-billion dollar giant acknowledged that our work was better than their agency of record, but that they had no choice but to use only the corporate firm.
Here’s hoping those family members continue to enjoy their retirement.