Case Histories

Background: Privately-held Italian Commercial Bakery Equipment Distributor.

Program Description: Building demand; SEO; PPC

Challenges/Opportunities: The products that ProBAKE sell are high-quality commercial ovens and accessories. Most awareness building is left to the distributor. ProBAKE relies heavily on Trade Advertising and their Website to build awareness and generate incoming sales inquiries & Requests for Quotes (RFQ) for their distributorship.

They felt the need to bring their image up-to-date as a more progressive distributor.

Their Website had not been updated with their wide-range of products — nor had they been receiving the maximized benefit that comes with a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) program.

Strategies Tactics: Update logo mark to provide ProBAKE with a more progressive look and feel. Update their current Website with a more progressive design, including additional equipment and accessories that more accurately represent the breadth of products they offer. Optimize their site to maximize the number of visitors to their website and the number of incoming inquiries and RFQ’s.

Institute pay-per-click (PPC) to market their business directly to the people searching for your products, and provide a method for tracking.

Results: Increased the number of requests for quotes (RFQ’s) by 150% within a period of 6 months. Increased the level of awareness for ProBAKE’s brand and broad range of products.



Designs by Technology (DBT)

Program Description: Branding

Background: Privately-held valued-added reseller that primarily services the dental industry by building and installing computer products, x-ray technology and industry-approved software.

Challenges/Opportunities: DBT did not have a recognizable presence beyond their existing installation base. They had developed a new portable computerized product designed to take scans of the patient’s mouth, wirelessly upload the new scans to the patient’s records in the doctor’s database and provide a level of mobility that would reduce the dentist’s cost of operations.

While the new product was in the process of being beta tested, the owner of DBT needed a tool as a “proof of concept” from which he could present his case to potential investors and prospective customers.

Strategies/ Tactics: Create a corporate logo, along with a name and a logo mark for their new portable scanning device.  Develop a product specification sheet from which the owner of DBT could illustrate and discuss this new product.

Results: Corporate and product logo marks, along with DBT’s new product name and logo were developed to the satisfaction of the owner. A product specifications sheet was created using a 2-D illustration of the product, while product was in beta test. A complete pack of letterhead, envelopes and business cards were created and printed.



Program Description: Branding and product demand

Background: OEConnection is the leading Online Parts & Service Exchange (OPSX) in the automotive industry and beyond, serving over 20,000 dealership and repair customers. Customers use OEConnection products over 5 million times each month to market, manage and move original equipment parts, facilitating an estimated $12 billion in annual replacement parts trade. The company is headquartered in the greater Cleveland area at 4205 Highlander Parkway, Richfield, Ohio, 44286.

Challenges/Opportunities: OEC competes with manufacturers of automotive aftermarket products. At the time, the number of dealerships and auto repair shops using OEC’s software programs were limited.

There was resistance from foreign automotive manufactures and dealerships to use OEC’s on-line software inventorying program.

OEC’s software products provide value-added services to both the auto/truck dealers and auto repair body shops. Their products offer an easy way to track down and retrieve needed OE products and keep shelf inventory filled, which leads to quick turnaround time and customer satisfaction and retention.

OEC’s public relations program was not realizing its full potential.

Strategies/ Tactics: Build a Corporate Brand statement for all associates to subscribe to and work within.

One of OEC’s main goals is to maximize the number of auto dealers and body repair shops that use original equipment manufactured parts over aftermarket replacement parts.

Position OEC as leader of software tools enabling the auto dealer and auto body repair shop to help manage inventory and quickly locate OE product on the shelf, acquire it and reduce time of repair, which lead to customer satisfaction.

Develop a proactive PR/Media Relations program. Hire PR Newswire services to properly target and distribute OEC’s news, to increase the number of published articles and gain the benefit of their performance tracking features.

Seek speaking engagements for the CEO/President.

Help sales force build market share by increasing brand recognition and demand for OEC as a corporation and building demand for its products. Develop OEC Mission Statement. And redesign OEC’s Corporate Website and customer portal to better represent OEC’s business and to better serve their constituents.

Results: Over 300 published articles in less than 8 months. Secured a speaking engagement at the First Annual Akron Business Conference for President and CEO where he was awarded the “Top Business of Northeastern Ohio” award.

Created and published OEC’s Capabilities Brochure.

Led the executive management and middle management in a collaborative exercise to develop corporation’s Mission and re-design and execute OEC’s website. OEC was awarded the “Best of the Web” ranking from as one of the best business-to-business web solutions,



Pioneer-Standard Electronics, Inc. (PIOS), Industrial Electronics Division (IED)

Program Description: Product launch and demand generation – NSC’s WEBENCH™, Pioneer’s exclusive arrangement with National Semiconductor (NSC).

Background: Pioneer-Standard Electronics Inc. was one of the world’s largest distributors of electronic components and computer systems, with annual revenues of $2.6 billion for the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2000.

A Fortune 1000 company headquartered in Cleveland, OH, Pioneer-Standard serves North American and Mexican OEMs through their vast network of regional sales branches, and international customers in Europe and Asia and its equity partners in Taiwan, the UK and Germany.

Challenges/Opportunities: PIOS was not the only distributor of electronic components that desired to have this tool hosted on their website.

The problem: The lack of awareness and recognition for this product among end-users (OEMs).

Strategies/Tactics: Pioneer-Standard had teamed up with National Semiconductor and Vishay Intertechnology in a ground-breaking collaboration to let engineers design and simulate their power supply, then get a complete prototype kit of all the components they needed—right down to the board—from Pioneer via overnight carrier.

The design process started on the POWER.NATIONAL.COM website using National Semi’s powerful, WEBENCH™, the first end-to-end online tool set.

Goals included: Build awareness and demand for WEBENCH™ and its exclusive arrangement with PSE.  PR/Media Relations to initially hype the exclusivity of PSE’s arrangement with NSC. As this online product proved itself a success with the OEM engineering community, publicity began to focus on its successful outcome.

Consistent and frequent on-line and trade advertising, along with a target marketing campaign.

Product flier developed for the sales force.

Results: Program generated 1,476 new qualified prospect companies; 3,275 individual accounts and; $2.2MM worth of newly found business potential over a 4 month period (Sept. ‘01 – March ’02).



Pioneer-Standard Electronics, Inc. (PIOS), Industrial, Electronics Division (IED)

Program Description: product launch, demand generation/increase use of website and brand development.

Background: Pioneer-Standard Electronics Inc. was one of the world’s largest distributors of electronic components and computer systems, with annual revenues of $2.6 billion for the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2000.

A Fortune 1000 company headquartered in Cleveland, OH, Pioneer-Standard serves North American and Mexican OEMs through their vast network of regional sales branches, and international customers in Europe and Asia and its equity partners in Taiwan, the UK and Germany.

Challenges/Opportunities: While many distributors of this highly competitive Industry are looking for new ways to differentiate themselves from their competition, Pioneer-Standard researched the market for what valued-added product or service was needed to make the customers’ lives easier.

Strategies/Tactics: This became the advent of – a Website developed by PSE’s internal team of Internet gurus, which provided 2 unique and beneficial features:

1)      Personalization. The screen or dashboard of the user could be modified to include the features they most often use in their day-to-day job as either an engineer or a purchasing professional.

2)      E-commerce. E-commerce enabled the customer to seek, find and purchase product 24/7.

Build a strong brand (personality) for

Build a strong brand (personality) for this site and increase awareness for the many benefits it offers electronic engineers and procurement professionals.

Quickly and consistently ramp up the market’s recognition and demand for this new value-added tool.

Utilize as an example of Pioneer’s leadership role in the electronics distribution arena.

Develop a strong set of strategies to maximize the interest and use of

Promote and educate the OEM market place.

Developed an integrated marketing communications program to maximize the affect of each tactical element and build synergy for the program.

Build a unique identity for Pioneer’s website,, and an icon as an additional mark representing the corporation and its website.  To maximize recognition, the two must be conspicuously illustrated on all collateral and advertising that portrays Pioneer’s online presence.

An aggressive and ongoing PR/Media Relations began with the first product release. Along with the usual press releases to the Wire, a special announcement was made to our Top-10 List of Media Contacts.  Normally they would receive their press release via email.  This time we emailed an introductory paragraph and invited them to view a special 10 second flash program attached to their message.  The program beautifully displayed the Pioneer butterfly flying from place to place until it arrived at a place where a choice needed to be made.  It offered the editors the choice of going to an electronic version of our new product news release or to directly visit

All creative elements took on the same overall design to build a cohesive look and feel for what we were featuring.  A consistent design and message help build a strong brand for Pioneer’s and the leadership of the company.

A creative direct mail campaign employed and targeted at the OEM electronics engineer and the purchasing professional. CD including a short tutorial in the form of a tour of and designed with an outside cover that mirrored the mailer’s panel making it look as though it were a part of the package.

A frequent schedule of Internet and Trade advertising and published a sales brochure

Results: The result: Out of the 10 editors, 8 one-on-one interviews were given during the industry’s electronics show scheduled within a week’s time due to this creative press campaign leading up to the electronics distribution industrial show.

Press release/Media relations program continued through the year resulted in ongoing one-on-one interview with executive management and featured articles and speaking engagements.

Program generated 128.7MM hits, 10.4MM visits to Catalog Page and 4.5MM user-sessions.

And, the site achieved #1 distributor ranking by ­eWeek Magazine’s FastTrack500 for 3 years in a row.

The complete integrated program put Pioneer just where they wanted to be, a leader in electronics distribution, and a leader of digital technology.



Automated Packaging Systems, Inc. (APS)

Program Description: Product launch of the Autobag® Print-n-Pack™ System – positioning and lead generation.

Background: Automated Packaging Systems, Inc. has been a world leader in designing and manufacturing flexible bag packaging systems for nearly 50 years, and is the original inventor of Autobag® bagging machines and pre-opened bags.

Today, we are the only company manufacturing genuine Autobag® brand bags-on-a-roll, SidePouch® specialty bags, AirPouch® void-fill bags and protective packaging, and a full line of baggers and bag packaging equipment. Headquartered in Streetsboro, Ohio, Automated Packaging Systems is a global packaging supplier, with sales, service, and distribution offices located throughout North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia, and more than 30,000 packaging systems in operation worldwide. With nine manufacturing plants, Automated Packaging Systems produces more bags-on-a-roll and bagging systems than all of our competitors combined. We have the industry’s largest service organization, and we are committed to delivering world class customer satisfaction.

Challenges/Opportunities: APS enjoyed many years since 1963’s patent on their Autobag® bagging system. Like all good things, they eventually come to an end.  APS was now faced with competition from other manufacturers claiming they had a bagging system as good as APS’ Autobag® system.

Now APS Autobag® had competitors.

Form-fill-seal (FFS) was another flexible packaging system that was in a different class of packaging operations and not truly a 1-to-1 competitor.  A FFS system requiring skilled labor, added expense and many features that really did compare to the type of packaging operation need by the traditional Autobag® systems customer.

Autobag® systems were developed for the average person to master after a short time of use.  Because of its automated or semi-automated nature, this system eliminated cost for the employer.

APS began the effort of determining what will keep them a step ahead of their competitors and retain the leadership role.  They turned to the customer to help them answer that question. The market’s response was that the customers were in need of a time and cost efficient way to imprint barcodes and other markings on their packaged product.

The in-line imprinting capability became a true value-added feature for the Autobag® bagging systems.

However, there was no name, no logo mark and no recognition.

Employees and distributors were kept apprised of new developments along the way.

Strategies/Tactics: Created a name and icon with a friendly personality to surround the introduction of this new product launch. Built awareness, Generated demand and sales leads; Develop sales tools and reached out to the media to ensure APS gets a fair amount of publicity.

The product name and its icon were merchandised to get the most coverage out of the company’s investment.

APS used the largest packaging event, PMMI, within the USA was the venue chosen to introduce the Autobag® Print-n-Pact™ system due to the enormity of the crowd of customers, prospects and distributors attending – not to mention the press; Conducted a pre-show press conference ending in a live demonstration of the new Print-n-Pack™ system; Assembled press kits for the media; Pre- and during trade show promotions were applied. APS used the Print-n-Pack™ illustrations as a draw into their booth; Their booth experienced an influx of visitors during that year’s PMMI show, generating well over one-thousand sales leads, which were qualified, fulfilled, distributed to sales and reported to the head of Sales and Marketing.

Selected trade publications for advertising based on readership and editorial content; negotiated rates and scheduled a frequent and consistent ad placement of Print-n-Pack ads.  Published full-sized tabloid ads in Tabloid-sized magazines, consisting of a 7×10 Print-n-Pack brand ad and a wrap of fractional product ads surrounding its parameter in order to build brand recognition and generate sales leads. Negotiated a rate below published prices with each publication, along with the agreement to assign separate “bingo” numbers on each 7×10 and fractional advertisement. This allowed APS to track lead performance on the basis of each product advertised.

Sales collateral developed as a presentation piece and leave-behind; Autobag® baggers with Print-n-Pack in-line imprinters were conspicuously featured within the Autobag® demo-room in APS’s demo room at headquarters and at various distributor locations.

Results: APS was successful at retaining and growing their Autobag® bagging system customers.

APS kept their leadership position through the successful introduction and promotion this new product, Print-n-Pack, which they continue to do with the introduction of new products (Machinery and Material).

Raising awareness and the increased sales of Print-n-Pack increased the barrier of entry for competitors.

APS’ booth experienced an influx of visitors at that years PMMI, generating well over 1,000 sales leads.

Editorial was at an all-time high.

Additional gross margins were realized.


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