In 2020, just after the start of the pandemic, Tricorn & Valuechain were looking to re-evaluate their market proposition and merge business units to both become more operationally efficient and simplify their offering to their customers. Our solution was to merge the MRP/ERP businesses into a new company called “Fitfactory”. Fitfactory aimed to be a thought leader that supports its customers to thrive through the economic uncertainties.
Fitfactory Technology Ltd. enables manufacturers to Streamline, Connect, Analyse, Level-up and Extend (SCALE) their business through digital transformation. The company provides modular MRP/ERP systems, CRM, IoT, Business Intelligence software and more to over 400 manufacturers across the UK.
With over 25 years in industry, they are bridging the gap between technology and engineering to make digialisation achievable for all.
In 2016, after Valuechain acquired Tricorn, the company had similar MRP systems under different brand names. When the team initially spoke with A Knight Marketing, they aimed to unite the two MRP providers into a single entity and simplify its brand offerings.
As Fitfactory Marketing Director, Alex Knight explained “We launched Fitfactory in July 2020, which was a really brave step for us because we were bringing together two companies: Tricorn, which has over 25 years of experience, a really credible brand with over 300 customers in the UK, with Valuechain, which is also a really well-recognised brand and has an incredible suite of innovative products.
Since Valuechain acquired Tricorn in 2016, we’ve always thought there’s a great synergy between these 2 companies and we always had a feeling that we could have a ‘1+1= greater than 3’ scenario, where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. However, it was challenging to find the right time and we weren’t quite sure how to do it.”
Creating the new Fitfactory Brand
When the pandemic hit in March 2021, the team at Fitfactory decided to review their brand strategy and identify a solution. They chose to work with A Knight Marketing to support this strategic decision and new brand roll-out.
We started by listening to the market. We listened on social media, spoke with influencers and interviewed customers to understand the key challenges in the industry. And, we identified an opportunity to position a combination of Tricorn and Valuechain as thought leaders on digitalisation for SMEs. A new company that could lead manufacturing SMEs through the significant economic challenges by combining their experience, reputation and innovations.
Knight continues “Obviously, the pandemic hit last March, and especially from a marketing and brand perspective, gave us the opportunity to take a step back. We could no longer do physical trade shows. We couldn’t do customer site visits in the same way. And our customers were really struggling.
So, we had a look at the market. We saw what was available to help SMEs, and we found there were a lot of solutions providers. Over the last 5-10 years, there has been a huge outburst in new technology, new solutions providers. And then there are consultancy firms that are helping to explain how to digitalise and how companies can adopt digital technology. We found that these were only geared towards the OEMs or larger companies. There’s a frightening lack of information for SMEs, which is beginning to get slightly better now.”
What we wanted to do, was not focus on being a technology provider, but focus on the end goals and how we can help our customers achieve the benefits of digitalisation. When we thought about that, it’s all about being more efficient, leaner, more productive and basically making your business ‘fitter’. Which led to Fitfactory.”
The Brand Launch
The scope of work for the brand launch comprised of designing an entirely new brand, from creating brand values, logo, colour scheme, as well as a website launch, content strategy and PR strategy.
Developing Brand Values
The brand values were incredibly important to the project. One of the key factors was to unite the internal team, and the values can make or break this. Therefore, we chose to conduct value workshops with the team. The mission was simple. We wanted them to design a company that everyone would be proud to work for.
While we would usually conduct collaborative workshops, as the team was entirely remote at this point, we held small calls of up to 5 team members per call. Each team member provided 3 values that they hold true of themselves, and that they would like of others. Each small group then decided on 3 values that would be put forward to a larger group. After filtering out similar values, we allowed the team and leadership group to vote on the values for the company to move forwards with.
Brand Archetypes, Logo, Design
When it came to brand design, there were 3 core tenants that came across from the Fitfactory team:
- Enabling manufacturers to scale
- Delivering innovative products for manufacturing
- Reliable with over 25 years of experience
We explored a number of logo options and colours, but concluded on a simplistic design that stood out against competitors. The dark grey and orange stood out compared to competitors which mostly used blue. The custom type font utilised Proxima Nova with a custom “i” in Fit. The i was important due to the focus on innovation and intelligence. Additionally, we used the dot of the “i” in wider collateral design to symbolise data and intelligence.
The website is a critical component for any business now. However, this was even more so mid-pandemic. Fitfactory, and many other manufacturers had previously relied heavily upon trade shows and in-person events to generate new business. However, these were now postponed or cancelled. Therefore, online and digital was more critical than ever.
We began with keyword research and identifying those that were most important to Fitfactory. Additionally, the team needed to edit the site themselves and for it to be light and quick to browse.
Working with the Fitfactory team, we put together all new copy for the website. Then, we opted for to build a WordPress website and worked with a 3rd party to develop and build the website to ensure it could meet the design requirements, perform to the high standards required and be editable by the in-house Fitfactory team.
Having launched the brand over 1 year ago, Knight concluded with his thoughts “Fitfactory has been launched for over a year now and it’s going really well. It took a lot of adjusting to internally, our customers and the market, but we’re really happy with the direction that it’s going now and we’re starting to see that we definitely took the right approach with this.”
If you have recently completed a merger or acquisition and would like support in aligning your brands, please get in touch.