Barloworld Equipment is the dealer for Cat across eleven southern African territories, and has been recognised by and identified with the iconic brand it represents. This year we decided to adopt a strong brand strategy to articulate the Barloworld Equipment brand identity and highlight the value we bring to our customers.

Barloworld Equipment has an 80-year old brand legacy.

Thos Barlow and Son become the Cat dealer for the then Natal region in 1927. The company renamed to Barlow Rand in 1973 and became Barloworld Equipment in 2000 when the holding company rebranded from Barlows Limited to Barloworld Limited, and rebranded its divisions at the same time.

Following extensive internal research and debate, Barloworld Equipment defined its brand as “reliable”, “expert”, “partner”, underpinned by the values of “appreciated”, “effortless” and “secure”.

The brand campaign needed to expand awareness of Barloworld Equipment’s range of offerings – the company is particularly well-known as a supplier to the mining industry, but also offers a full range of earthmoving solutions to the heavy and light construction, agriculture and other industry sectors.

Cat is a premium brand, and Barloworld Equipment provides first-class support of its products, also at a premium. One of the aims of the brand campaign is to demonstrate the value that Barloworld Equipment offers through its support, maintenance, training and service offerings.

When you buy a Cat, you don’t just buy a machine. You buy a service manager, and a parts expert, and the full support infrastructure that Barloworld Equipment provides.

This concept underpinned a new campaign developed for us by digital agency Gloo, which is designed to showcase our people and the expertise that buying a Cat brings: “More than machines”. The campaign artwork in the first phase features five faces, three of whom are Barloworld Equipment employees, and details their hours of service.

Research showed we had two distinct target audiences – those people who have grown up with Cat and have a heritage with and loyalty to the brand, and those who are up-and-coming, have low loyalty and are more price and specification conscious.

Both audiences have different communication preferences – the first consumes traditional media and prefers face to face contact, the second are tech-savvy and analytical, and prefer digital media and Whatsapp to ask questions.

Additionally, we didn’t just need to reach the CEOs who make buying decisions, we needed to talk to the machine operators who use the equipment.

Included in the support Barloworld Equipment provides to its customers is an equipment management solution (EMSolutions) which connects remotely to a central system which alerts machine owners and Barloworld Equipment about the state and status of the machine – whether it is idling too long, overheating, in need of minor maintenance, and so on.

This solution is extremely valuable to our customers, so we decided to incorporate it into the brand campaign, tying in our expert people with the information that the EMSolutions provides about the machines.

This is the call to action element of the campaign – buy a new Cat and get EMSolutions free at Level 3 for two years. A website has been developed to support the advertising campaign – morethanmachines.com. The URL is prominently displayed in all of the ads and people can browse the site to get more information on Barloworld Equipment and Cat, and register to get more information on the EMSolutions, generating leads for the company.

The first phase of the campaign went live on 1 September, to run until end November. The campaign’s objectives are to create unprompted awareness of the brand attributes of “effortless”, “secure” and “appreciated” (to be measured through CEM Surveys), to increase unprompted awareness in mine-centric regions of the construction offering and to promote that EMSolutions is fitted for free in certain new machines.

Based on the success the first phase has in achieving these objectives, a second and third phase may be rolled out next year to expand on the value received, showcasing the expert teams behind the support provided to customers, and in the third phase, showcasing just what a Cat machine can do in a given number of hours – ploughing fields, building roads, delivering real, tangible value.

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