Founder Barry Cowen, a highly intelligent innovator of scientific apparatus, has changed the paradigm for delivering customer service in his industry. His customer focused point of view, combined with his new innovative designs give him the ability to manufacture and distribute precision fluid dispensing instruments worldwide for a fraction of the cost.
With the help of New Era’s determined and committed COO, Antonia Bonanno, the company has been able to grow exponentially in recent years – tapping into new markets. They knew that the branding that they employed in their early days was dated and might not appeal to the more sophisticated target groups; they had started the company with a domain name that was very different from the company name, causing confusion and potential loss of sales; and in addition to their direct to consumer model, the company needed to also change their strategy and messaging to their international distributor network, so they came to talk with us.
Our Strategic Analysis
We dived into our strategic analysis and at the outset several things became clear to us:
Name and Brand ID:
Yes, the brand ID was dated but more than that by using two names vastly different (the company name and the domain name) their customers and potential customers were confused.
With a direct to consumer model as well as a distributor model, the company was not set up to message effectively or appropriately to their distributor base or their direct sales customers. This caused confusion and sometimes disenfranchised one group or the other.
By having a website named SyringePump.com and a company named New Era Syringe Pumps, Inc. customers sometimes didn’t know who they were purchasing from. The site was old technology and not ecommerce. Additionally, when a distributor needed information or content they were directed to the direct to consumer site – causing friction with the distributors.
Strategic Business Planning:
The company needed to identify long-term goals, focus on identifying and evaluating key performance issues and economic factors critical to their success in order to plan their next moves. Further they needed to address some internal issues relating to the overall structure of management, understanding roles and responsibilities, procedures and processes.
With less than clear forward direction, product line offering, and procedures for addressing customer service issues, the branding and strategy work combined with a CSR training program was necessary to help articulate their brand and products.
A series of advertising campaigns (specifically designed against each target group) combined with a lead generation program was needed to acquire new distributors as well as new direct customers.
We addressed the double name issue by creating an overarching corporate name and brand ID. The new name New Era Instruments speaks to the larger offering, while keeping elements of the original name to avoid causing further confusion. The corporate name came along with a new corporate website (NewEraInstruments.com) which housed corporate information, product information, support documents, and a distributor portal. By driving all distributors to the corporate website and turning the old site (SyringePump.com) into a new and intuitive e-commerce site. This allowed for easier access and purchasing options for the direct sales community.
The e-commerce and corporate sites compliment one another and allow us to speak to each group appropriately.
The company had a wide array of instruments and accessories but the naming and categorization was was confusing for end-users and had an effect on sales. We created a new model naming system with brand IDs for each model to create simplicity among the variety of products. This fit not only the customer needs but the internal needs for uniformity as well.
We developed corporate goals focused around the founder’s vision for the company to right the ship and gave direction. This involved a new brand position along with mission, vision and core company values to help them keep moving forward and strive to expand their horizons. We then implemented a very high-level strategic plan to help the company succeed internally as well as externally.
We understood that company needed to better understand and implement and a more efficient structure of operation. This also included their corporate structure as well as clarifying their overall offering. An overall hierarchy needed to be in place to help create efficient operations. In our plan we addressed the organizational chart, defining roles and responsibilities and We delegated and updated job descriptions to help employees better understand their overall role for each crucial position. We invited individuals to commit to their new job description and through a series of trainings related to customer service and internal operations, we worked with the company to better understand one another and to communicate more efficiently.
As we are about to launch the new corporate name and brand and website, we are pushing forward as we develop the new ecommerce website, and continue to implement all these new changes. Once implemented we will begin a series of campaigns developed against specific targets as well as a campaign to distributors. Also in the plan is a show package for distributors, trade show appearances, public relations, social media, and a wide variety of activities all designed to achieve Barry’s business goals.