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5 Questions: A Conversation with Steve Brown of Chemstations

December 8, 2010

Steve Brown, executive vice president and COO of Chemstations, talked to us about his experience working with BrandExtract. Two years ago, this leading global supplier of chemical process simulation software partnered with us to develop a new identity for the company and its product, CHEMCAD. Now with the brand firmly established, we're continuing to support Chemstations in its efforts to stand out from the crowd.

1. How have your customers/clients responded to your new brand?

For the staid world of marketing to engineers, there is a fine line between a brand that makes you unique and one that turns off your target market. With BrandExtract, we've crafted a brand that differentiates us, cuts through the 'noise,' but doesn't make our customers uncomfortable. In many ways, the brand 'just feels right' to our customers because it reinforces all the reasons they buy from us. We get overwhelmingly positive feedback about the collateral, the website, the magazine ads, and the tradeshow graphics.

2. What do the people in your company think about your new brand?

We love how good it makes us look! Much of that is due to the initial brand assessment, where everyone was very involved in the process of gathering information and delivering early stage feedback. We're all on board because we helped define the brand; it's a reflection of all of us, our products and our hard work. We're excited to have the chance to tell our story to the world.

3. What have you learned about the value of having a strongly defined brand?

Focus. In operating a small business, you're constantly resource constrained, but you're rarely option constrained. Business decisions are much easier, as you can eliminate those that don't reinforce your brand or what you're about. Just as critically, we're all on the same page here; everyone throughout the company knows where we're going.

4. What did you personally learn about your company through the branding process?

To a large degree, I was already sold on the process before we started. I knew we had unique strengths, a great story, and great products, but I also knew we weren't communicating effectively to the marketplace. I was surprised by how many more people started recognizing us in our industry once the initial branding was in place. Our market is mature, there are significant switching costs and barriers to entry, and we didn't have a strong position in the minds of the market, so I suspected it would take much longer to even see anecdotal evidence of an impact.

5. What are three words you would use to describe your experience with BrandExtract?

Enlightening. Rewarding. Profitable.