With a rich history in programmable power supplies and electronic test instruments, there could be no disputing the level of technical excellence within the ETPS team. The organisation’s background dates back to 1975, when the brand represented the test equipment division of Elba Electronics. However, as demand for such specialist test expertise grew, so too did interest in the bespoke solutions that the team of engineering experts could provide.
In 1998, ETPS therefore became a standalone company, which has gone on to innovate high-level solutions for sectors ranging from automotive to aerospace, and marine to energy.
But fast forward to 2015 and the company had identified a problem with the brand.
The mixed corporate background was contributing to a confused customer experience. It needed to be clearer that ETPS was now a standalone company – not part of a German manufacturer. It was clear that this would also go some way to emphasising that the organisation was not simply a product-led distributor or manufacturer, as many people perceived from the company’s dated online presence.
Instead, ETPS’s true proposition had to shine through. More emotive, personal and skill-driven factors such as customer service, understanding and support were what truly secured work for this business. These key differentiators had to be extracted if ETPS was to stand out in a competitive market and achieve the significant turnover increase that the organisation sought.
The search for a partner to guide the business through the rebrand project, brought ETPS to The Engine Room.
When discussions first began, the project brief was to devise a new brand strategy for ETPS, which would help go on to define the brand, nurture the creation of a fresh identity and, ultimately, support the development of a number of key brand assets and touchpoints.
This propositioning exercise was something The Engine Room would have tackled as standard, but the team also wanted to dig deeper into what truly made ETPS tick. Without this depth of insight it would have been difficult to craft a long-lasting brand with real strategic impact.
Led by our Studio Director, Leo, we therefore spoke to the client to reshape the brief somewhat. This was important. It was vital that the client understood the opportunity to think about the wider business influence of the brand, above and beyond just its visual identity.
Simple changes such as a subtle shift in the language used throughout the project, meant ETPS soon started thinking about the rebrand less in terms of physical assets, and more as a commercial platform for expansion.
Of course, some of the key challenges still existed, such as the need to remove customer confusion and produce touchpoints that would complement customer journeys. But, together, the two teams collaborated to better communicate ETPS’s value-adding consultancy expertise. This was a business driven by people after all, not just technical products. This would prove key to coherently pushing the organisation as a stand-out market leader.
“We were very impressed by the two-way nature of this project. We have an eye for detail in the office that we wanted to be able to share, and The Engine Room embraced this wholeheartedly. But they pushed back too when they knew we needed to widen our thinking or look beyond the obvious,”
Michael Duggan, Marketing Manager, ETPS
It was apparent that ETPS concentrated on the technology features of the solutions provided, for example, rather than the end user or application benefits that would resonate more powerfully with prospective clients. This is not uncommon within engineering brands. However, failure to demonstrate a competitive differential and show the degree of customer empathy that the team actually did have, was significantly holding the business back from a commercial perspective.
Detailed workshops therefore unfolded, in which ETPS and The Engine Room discussed everything from the business vision, revenue model and typical product and service offering, through to target audiences, decision maker models and competitor mapping. Analysis of a typical customer journey did not just look at the process and touchpoints commonly experienced along the way. It also involved research and interviews with customers themselves, to better inform the design approach that would go on to achieve ETPS’s business objectives.
Only when armed with this intelligence, could we then begin to think about the best-fit brand strategy and development of the resulting brand identity, architecture, values, tone of voice and implementation essentials (the touchpoints that ETPS initially sought).