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Firestone Industrial Products Company

When we began working with Firestone Industrial, we found the Firestone brand was well known to truck and trailer OEMs by virtue of its industry-leading AirRide® suspension products, but two similar products, AirStroke® (an actuating device) and AirMount® (an isolation device),were virtual unknowns in the industrial marketplace.

Firestone Industrial had introduced the AirStroke and AirMount products using the traditional means: advertising, public relations and direct mail. But the results had been distinctly lackluster and, according to Firestone marketing, somewhat attributable to the industrial design engineers' lack of understanding as to how to utilize these new products. (They can replace any pneumatic actuating device such as pneumatic cylinders, or shock-absorbing device as used in mounting a parts vibrator.)

Our Charge:
To resuscitate the AirStroke and AirMount programs by leveraging the strength of the Firestone brand. We also needed to educate the industrial engineer regarding the features and benefits of these products and the various ways they can be used.

Leveraging the Brand:
Our first idea turned out to be a winner: develop a design contest for industrial design engineers that called upon them to create uses for these products. Promote the contest using advertisements, public relations, posters and direct mail and then utilize trade press editors to act as contest judges. The top design engineering magazine, Design News, was also commissioned to write feature articles on some of the best designs (both serious and humorous, as the contest included both).

The Results:
The contest created a buzz about Firestone and its new products among design engineers, raising the brands' awareness position significantly. In fact, the contest was deemed so successful that we were asked to run a contest for engineering students the following year.