Anything but a “one company” strategy

SWM International was a leading global provider of engineered solutions and advanced materials. In recent years, the organization had focused on expanding its reach beyond fiber-based materials and grew its advanced materials platform to include capabilities in resin-based technologies and materials. As part of this effort, SWM acquired several global leaders specializing in market-leading netting and high-performance thermoplastic polyurethane films. Wanting to build the SWM brand, leadership decided to quickly transition the equity from the acquired companies’ brands to SWM and to then sunset them after 12 months. This became the basis for their “one company” brand strategy. Unfortunately, the organization did not have a thoughtful brand transition plan and since the acquired brands had been in the market for decades, and had established strong brand equity, there was significant reluctance to give up the brands. Not surprisingly, the acquired brands continued being used in the market. FullSurge was brought in to develop a brand and product architecture strategy that would deliver the “one company” strategy and to create the visual elements to execute the plan.

Our three-point plan: flatten, leverage and create

FullSurge recommended that SWM form a project core team comprised of representatives from both business and marketing. In addition to the kick-off meeting and subsequent regular presentations, FullSurge conducted 14 in-depth, one-on-one interviews with SWM business professionals as well as sales leadership. We then validated what we heard internally by conducting customer interviews. Lastly, we benchmarked key competitors to identify any category mandates and best practices. What we heard from internal sales professionals was echoed when we spoke to SWM’s customers. 

We recommended a three-point plan that would align corporate goals with market realities. We had to:

  • “Flatten” the architecture to better connect product brands to SWM
  • Use the legacy brands to better seed and establish the SWM brand
  • Create meaning and relevance for the SWM corporate brand

We then created the visual elements to communicate the product architecture as well as the overall brand look and feel.

Overwhelmingly, while no one had heard of SWM, the acquired companies had powerhouse brands ubiquitously known for high-quality and had outstanding and long-term relationships with their customers.

Overwhelmingly, while no one had heard of SWM, Conwed, Argotec, and DelStar were powerhouse brands ubiquitously known for high-quality and had outstanding and long-term relationships with their customers.
Product Architecture SWM 2
Collateral SWM 3
Collateral SWM 4
Posters SWM 5
From architecture to execution and beyond

SWM implemented our architecture recommendations and then hired FullSurge to develop the visual product brand system as well as the overall visual identity for the advanced materials and structures business. The new visual identity was launched in the summer of 2019.

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