In December 2007, Korean conglomerate Doosan acquired a portfolio of industrial portable power equipment from U.S. company Ingersoll Rand. The acquisitions, the largest ever done by a Korean company outside of Korea, were part of Doosan’s strategy to become a global, full-line manufacturer and marketer of construction equipment.
With market leading products under the company’s parent brand name throughout Asia, Doosan’s senior management expected to re-brand the acquired products using the Doosan name. Stefan Brosick, Director of Global Product Strategy and Ingersoll Rand veteran, wondered whether Doosan would benefit from an immediate re-branding, or if other branding strategies might be more effective.
Many key questions needed to be answered before the December 2008 long-range plan presentation: What effect might changing the brand name, built over 135 years, have on these products’ market positions? In addition to the name, what other branding elements carried equity in the construction market? How would end-users and distributors react to brand changes? How could negative reactions be minimized? And, if he proposed a phased brand transformation plan, how could he best position this strategy to senior management?
The case illustrates the strategic role of branding in business-to-business markets, the pressures managers encounter when facing new corporate brand mandates, and analyses needed to formulate and evaluate alternative branding strategies.
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