From Manufacturer to Market Leader

Innovation spans more than six decades of product R&D at Pennsylvania-based manufacturer IMI. As the company developed the next evolution of their wheel-end balancing compound, IMI called on Merit to build a brand position that would propel sales of its compound. However, though competitive research and customer insights, we saw an opening in the market to take the company beyond a manufacturer of iconic products to a position of total ownership of tire and wheel performance industry.

Market Reality

Prior to the engagement, manufacturers of fleet tire and wheel accessories competed for shares of the market one product at a time. For IMI, those products included wheel-end balancing, wheel refinishing, loose lug-nut indication, and tire sealant. We challenged this model by challenging the great divide in the industry between product equity and brand equity.

Market Opportunity

Our partnership provided insights from research and strategy to unify messaging, creative and digital campaigns around one name, one company, one purpose, and one personality. By understanding the competitive landscape and its silos, we turned market insights into opportunities to differentiate IMI.

Invention Strategy

We crafted a new narrative and visual presence to unify IMI’s product offering under one brand with the intent of creating more meaningful dialogue between the brand and its customers: fleet operators, fleet owners, commercial tire dealers, distributors, and industry tradespeople.

THE EXPERIENCE

Research & Strategy

Engaging an Intricate Ecosystem

We collaborated with IMI to lend insights for the brand through competitive analysis, stakeholder focus groups, brand workshops, and contextual and remote customer interviews, to name a few.

Creative

Unifying an Iconic System of Products

We crafted a story that evoked the essence of IMI’s brand and built expressions of the identity to reach customers on the channels that mattered most: digital, advertising, and social.

Communications

Creating a Platform to Spread the Word

We architected strategic communications to extend the brand into IMI’s product marketing, media relations, sales support, and industry trade presence.

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