Powering the Future
Engines for change
Cummins is an icon in American business. Early in the twentieth century, it pioneered diesel engine technology and helped to transform the transportation industry. In the 1950s, the company capitalized on the ambitious new interstate highway system, their engines powering much of the equipment that built the roads and many of the trucks that began to travel them. By the late 1950s, the company had begun to expand internationally, offering a wider range of products that included power generation systems.
Much more recently, as a Fortune 500 company with 5,000 facilities in 197 countries, Cummins faced the same growing pains as many other diversified organizations operating within a kaleidoscope of cultures. The company needed a brand strategy that could keep pace with its changing business.
Siegel+Gale examined Cummins' brand positioning through several months of in-depth global research. We talked with customers and industry influencers, and learned how they make decisions about choosing power generation equipment and suppliers. In response, we recommended a powerful masterbrand strategy that reorganized a dozen existing company names into three subsidiaries: Cummins Power Generation, Cummins Generator Technologies and Cummins Onan (keeping the equity in the Onan name, another giant in power generation equipment that Cummins acquired in 1986).
For Cummins Onan, the consumer generator line of business, we built the brand strategy on its "unsurpassed design and manufacturing quality that results in truly professional-grade performance," and captured it in the simple, direct tagline: "Performance professionals rely on."
Along with the new name for Cummins Generator Technologies, we developed the "There for you" tagline, reflecting a brand positioning based on the idea that "it's not just what we make that sets us apart; it's how we engage customers everyday."
We connected all business units with a new visual identity that adds a bold, red "energy bar" to the well-known Cummins "C" trademark. Implemented across all communications media—including brochures, signage, kiosks, displays and all forms of print advertising—it promotes a unified approach and leverages the power of Cummins across the subsidiaries.
In each of the two years following the launch, Cummins' total sales grew by 15% and market share was preserved among its subsidiaries, reassuring leadership that the name changes did not interrupt the market's recognition of continued quality, service and value.
In a recent 10-k filing, Cummins acknowledged the importance of brand equity and coherent brand architecture as a component of their financial success: "Our continued investment in and attention to furthering brand equity in our offerings and across our business units includes leveraging and creating brand identity, brand value and brand presence for our offerings in our markets of interest. During the year we successfully rebranded our major operating business units to reflect the Cummins name and brand to build upon our overall branding strategy."
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