Have you ever
too much work, and too few hours in the day to get it
Stubbs of Chevron Global Marine Products was already swamped in
his expanded position as Regional Manager Marine Lubricants West.
And now he was assigned as Project Leader of a new product launch … a
coveted honor, to be sure, but how would he find the time?
Roger was charged with launching DOT.FAST®, a new service
for ocean-going vessels that could save shipping lines big money
on maintenance by providing onboard and onshore analysis of drip
oil from the engine cylinders.
“DOT.FAST was a new departure for us,” said Roger. “We
knew it would work, but convincing the traditionally conservative
shipping industry was not going to be easy.”
Chevron’s technology included
unique features. For example, the onboard drip oil analyzer
could accurately measure total iron content, a task that previously
required onshore lab testing and was a long-standing inconvenience
for ocean-going vessels.
Lining up project resources
Four months before the DOT.FAST soft launch in Hamburg,
Germany, the preparations were going well — technology and
engineering were in place, and manufacturers were lined up to
produce the hardware and consumables — but Roger still needed
to begin the product identity and marketing portion,
and he was overloaded with work.
Who could he find, not just to create the new product identity,
but to help chase down the myriad of related legal, branding,
technical and vendor details required by the sixth largest corporation
in the world?
Finding the right creative vendor
“David and his team at IDU already knew our business, so
we engaged them to develop our marketing material,” said
Roger. “We needed a consistent style and a clear message.
IDU was very much part of the team and, despite being literally
an ocean apart, communication was never a problem.”
“We know the ropes,” said David Wright, president and founder of
IDU Creative Services. “We follow up all the loose ends, so decision-makers
like Roger have less to do. Part of our value lies in pinpointing the right
resources within a large organization and conscientiously following up with
the right people. Then, when we talk to the project managers, it’s always
about things that matter. Time is the one resource you can’t replace,
and our extra effort saves managers like Roger hours of work.”
Defining the new product’s unique selling
Roger’s market analysis turned up several competing products,
but DOT.FAST had features and benefits that the competitors lacked.
It was up to IDU to put these improvements in the spotlight.
“When you are close to a project, it is sometimes difficult to explain its benefits to the outside world,” said Roger. “Working with IDU helped to bridge that gap and David was always able to offer helpful suggestions and ask those awkward questions which get you to the right answer!”
“The Unique Selling Proposition was one of the first things on the table
when we came on board,” said Wright. “As soon as the team had the
USP nailed down, we began development of the marketing materials.”
Designing right creative solution for
an international market
David’s team at IDU Creative Services focused on the basic
elements that had to be in place for the September product announcement
at SMM Hamburg, the world’s leading maritime trade fair:
“One of our regular challenges in a truly
international business is making sure we can be understood by many
different nationalities and cultures,” said Roger. “IDU
understands this requirement and helps us get our message across
whilst remaining loyal to our house style.”
- Design of the product identity, including
consultations with Chevron Corporate Branding to fit the product
identity within the larger Chevron brand
- Consultations with Chevron Legal regarding
- Consultations with vendors regarding requirements
and technical specifications for the hardware and consumables
- Graphic design for the onboard Drip Oil
- Preparation of marketing materials — brochure,
posters, email blasts, demo announcements
Leveraging the successful design
The soft launch to the international audience at SMM Hamburg went very
well. Major shipping lines expressed interest
in the product, and more product demos were set up in Northern Europe.
The rest of the team went into overdrive to finish everything for the
full commercial launch.
The creative team had quite a laundry list of deliverables. Before
the commercial release of DOT.FAST the following summer,
IDU completed the creative work for:
- Drip Oil Analyzer hardware and packaging
- Consumables and packaging
- 60-page full-color instruction manual
- Hardware and software quick start guides
- Graphical user interfaces for onboard software
and CD navigation screen
- CD packaging
- Second-generation brochures and marketing
- Magazine ads and public relations material
- PowerPoint presentations
- Price lists, sales forms and technical questionnaires
- Sales binder with 12 sections
- Sales kit CDs
IDU also provided creative direction to photo
shoots, extensive photo retouching, and printed the manuals, sales
binders and CDs.
Achieving a successful product launch
“We made our deadline despite legal and manufacturing delays, and even
a corporate rebranding at Chevron that forced us to re-create a lot of the graphics,” said
Wright. “But through it all, we kept a focus on chasing down the loose
ends, anticipating possible problems and finding the right solutions within the
corporate structure. We wanted Roger to have complete confidence that we were
fulfilling our responsibilities and keeping our work off his desk.”
After the successful accomplishment of the DOT.FAST product launch, Roger returned
to his regular workload. He passed on daily management of the program to Kay
Siemensen, his colleague in Germany, and recommended David as a valuable asset
for future marketing efforts.
Moving forward on new projects
Now there was finally time to move forward on other outstanding issues — perhaps
the directive to update the Fluid Analysis Service & Trending program, or
the project to rebrand and refresh the 150-page Marine
Lubricants Handbook. Roger considered David’s outstanding success
on the DOT.FAST project, then opened a blank email and began drafting a new request
for creative services.
But that’s another story …
Click here to
see samples of the Chevron DOT.FAST Product Launch.