IMCO Carbide Tool Inc. – Branding for the National/International Arena


Since 1977, IMCO Carbide Tool Inc. had actively focused on providing manufactur- ers with quality products to help increase profitability, uphold customer satisfaction and maintain a competitive advantage. The problem was no one knew who they were. The goal: to build a brand as strong as the tools it represents while conveying the revolutionary methods by which the tools are designed, produced, tested and used. In other words, think differently to create a brand that shakes up a technologi- cally diverse global industry.


In order to effectively clear a path in an industry filled with big players that have deep pockets, the IMCO brand needed
to look different from the competition. Backed by a solid reputation and a list of customers experiencing stellar ROI, it was time to tell the story and get noticed in the national and international arena. The thirty year-old brand was not only tired, it was truly non-existent in the marketplace, so the process started with a clean slate. 


A modern logo, unique colors and a powerful tagline were put to work. A retail approach to industrial branding was used in developing the materials. Tools of different shapes, sizes and materials are featured much like works of art or fine jewelry for the manufacturing industry. IMCO employees are the brand, taking center stage in all materials includ- ing a capabilities brochure and custom video featuring the tools and proud employees who make them. Strong photography is used throughout to convey more than words ever could.

Employees should live and breathe brand attributes, so the need to tap the internal market first was paramount. Creating pride in the new brand through educational awareness exercises, special events and use of promotional items helped to create excitement and build the new image from the inside out.

Within the global market, a strong Web site helps to level the playing field. An inviting site with bold tool images featuring customer case studies tells the IMCO story. Powerful product search capabilities, detailed material & usage information plus user-friendly functionality with direct customer service contact reinforce IMCO’s commitment to quality and service. 

Much like any successful retailer, IMCO uses a variety of external marketing tools from industry print ads, product sheets, catalogs, electronic banner ads and Google AdWords to an interactive presence in social media including Facebook, YouTube, My Space, LinkedIn and Wikipedia. Brand building feature stories are also published in top industry trade publications through consistent public relations activities. 


The re-branded, enhanced Web site alone illustrates impressive numbers for reaching a broader customer base. Since April of 2008, the number of monthly visitors has increased from 19 to 2,391. Of these 2,391, 68% are first time visitors. In addition, IMCO enjoys top-performing search engine results and millions of online impressions through trade publication editorial exposure. “The enhanced branding activities have made us more approachable to the people who use our products and better represent who we are as a company,” says Perry Osburn, President and CEO of IMCO Carbide Tool Inc. “Through distinctive style and consistent efforts across all of our marketing materials, our brand