CENTURION A Natural Fit For Dynamic Seal Company
Using their brand-management/positioning strategy, RTP launches new brand name and positioning statement for EG&G Warwick mechanical seal business unit.
How would you like to wake up one morning without a name? This scenario would present difficulty for an ordinary individual, not to mention catastrophe for a company with world-wide influence. According to Columbia University professor Don Sexton, who specializes in brands and brand equity, ”Brands are typically worth 10-20% of a company’s capitalization - millions and, often, billions of dollars. How you build your brand is crucial to company development.”
When EG&G Warwick sold their industrial seal business and the Sealol name to the John Crane Co., the remaining mechanical seal unit in Warwick, RI was left without a brand name for their products. The EG&G Engineered Products Division (the interim name for the former Sealol site in Warwick), realized a potential danger in not having a brand name, and sought advice from Read Tatulli & Purdy (RTP), a full service Providence advertising/marketing/public relations/new media agency. RTP, equipped with a highly structured, brand-naming strategy, gave the EG&G Warwick division formerly known as Sealol a new name that captured its essence and image.
This six month long campaign, dubbed “Operation Turning Point,“ became a success through carefully and properly discerning the results of extensive research along with company and customer analysis. The end result was what Joe Tatulli, the company’s President and Creative Director, refers to as “the process by which you build brand loyalty in the minds of your employees and your customers.” Tatulli identified five steps necessary to achieve this goal - ”identify current associations of products and those of competitors; define key benefits for target customers; determine key benefits or other attributes to be associated with the new brand; develop identifiers such as a name or positioning statement to build desired associations; evaluate how the process equates with the goal.”
“Through the process we discovered that EG&G Warwick’s customers thought very favorably of the company, its people and products. With that information in hand, we began the process of transferring the existing and very valuable brand equity from the old name to the new one.” RTP’s path to discovery was initiated by an audit survey of about 300 of the company’s “best customers” from across the US. From both multiple choice and verbatim responses, EG&G Warwick was described by its customers with such descriptors as strength, discipline, performance, accuracy, responsiveness, leadership, reliability, and pride.
The surveys were more than a mere word association game. They allowed customers to speak to their feelings about EG&G Warwick. A large majority of the customer opinions were similar, allowing RTP to conclude that, “EG&G Warwick’s technical nature and engineering expertise are its most highly regarded and most widely recognized feature. EG&G Warwick is seen as applying excellent engineering capabilities to build high-quality, custom developed products.” RTP also concluded that the SBE’s customers view the company’s products as better than average. The next step for RTP was development of the EG&G Warwick product brand name.
“We really wanted something with meaning that could connect the people with the business, and help transfer the existing brand equity to the new name,” Tatulli said. RTP employed a six part branding test before creating the name, making sure it:
1) was easy to recognize and remember2) communicated essential, congruous concepts3) related to the product4) was appropriate to the product category5) was available6) translated globally
Using the six criteria, and all the information gleaned from six months of intense research, the RTP team arrived at the name “Centurion,” a classic Latin title that translates “leader of 100.” It was ideally suited for the Division for many reasons. First, it passed all six branding tests above. Second, the products were sold in categories designated by a number system based on 100 and the company can be described as the leader of those categories.
Like a Centurion, the company is also considered strong, reliable, responsive, and proud.
The RTP team also realized the importance of not only inventing a customer-supported brand name, but also appealing to EG&G Warwick employees. RTP’s next mission was to gain internal support for the brand name - the final phase of “Operation Turning Point.”
“They (the employees) couldn’t believe their existing customers thought so highly of them. We knew we could come up with a good name but needed to make the internal connection with the Warwick employees that the brand equity they had for so long associated with the old name was really present in them,” Tatulli said.
RTP then orchestrated an “all hands” presentation held at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet, a famous Warwick Rhode Island “event” location near the Warwick site. The spirited evening began with some food and speeches from elected officials and EG&G Warwick executives. To introduce the new name, RTP choreographed a dramatic musical program that climaxed with a banner dropping from the ceiling with the new name (Centurion) on it, and bright lights that flashed “Centurion” on the walls to loud applause.
RTP finished the celebration by handing out Centurion monogrammed denim sport shirts to the EG&G Warwick, now Centurion employees. The Centurion name and positioning statement “Proven Performance, Reliable Solutions,” was met with very positive feedback from both employees and customers, and the division’s success has increased since the name’s birth - “Operation Turning Point” was officially complete, launched with appropriate fanfare. In his closing speech, Marvin Pelser, site manager for EG&G Centurion Mechanical Seals said, “I would like to thank Joe Tatulli, and everyone at RTP for a job well done.”
CENTURION™ Mechanical Seals remains a world leader in its field and victoriously transferred the value of its brand equity to the new name. CENTURION is now part of EATON Corporation. RTP is an active, innovative brand development and advertising consultancy and has launched campaigns for many prestigious Global and New England based companies such as SIEMENS PLM Software (Plano, TX), SIEMENS Heathcare Diagnostics (Tarrytown, NY), Tecnomatix Digital Manufacturing (Detroit, MI), Brennan Oil & Heating Company (North Providence, RI), Rhode Island Right to Life (Providence, RI), AJ Oster (Warwick, RI) and others.