What we learnt from Re-branding India’s Largest Laser Systems Manufacturing Conglomerate

Ketul Patel
5 min readFeb 19, 2020

SLTL Group is a 30 year old technological conglomerate. Providing solutions in sectors like Industrial Laser, Diamond, RF and Microwave, Renewable Energy and Medical.

One of the proudest things I did in my young career is a rebranding campaign. I was working with India’s Largest Laser Manufacturing company known as SLTL Group. Formerly Sahajanand Laser Technology Limited.

And, I’m sure most of you are pronouncing it wrong or either imagining a local Indian company. As a brand it’s a nightmare.

Also, the company is dealing in various business sectors with different identities. The management felt a strong need to unify its business into a singular brand identity. Making it a distinguished conglomerate in the market.

That’s when we decided to rebrand. Make it universal that aligns with our global operational style. We launched our fresh identity in 2018 at IMTEX.

On the left we have our old identity and on the right we have the new one

After the launch we received a tremendous response. Number of leads quadrupled. We gained almost thrice the business as this show has ever produced for us. The market was talking. Media houses were covering us. It was overwhelming.

We did this in 2018 and when I was back in the show this year, I realised what I did? And, the need to share my learning:

Never forget your old identity. Give it time.

The old identity was way more powerful than the new one. No matter how out of the place it was. It was there for a longer period of time and your customers resonate with it. Our identity was there for 30 years and altering it out of the blue would make a void.

People would be expecting us. And we cannot be in a new avatar without relating to the old one. Importantly, we have to keep old and new together for as long as we can. Till today, the campaign is running at our booths in expos.

Build a story, a digestible one.

The books on the shelves talk about it ‘Rebrand when the market doesn’t resonate to it’. There is a reason for it. You must put the exact reason out. No matter how absurd the reason is. A story brings everyone on the same page. If the market can’t tell the same story. It’s chaos.

Communicate it with Awareness, Relativity and Humour.

Be bold! But don’t complicate.

Rebranding should be like calling out your target audience, loud. Don’t be afraid to try your bold ideas. ‘A good strategy is something your audience could make sense of it. It shouldn’t be obvious but close enough for right anticipation.’ Do customer research and do user testing meticulously. We altered our campaign idea almost 4 times from scratch. To reach the closest to user understanding.

Build a connection.

It should connect. Your OOH activity and online campaign should be intertwined. When your audience see the brand in the media and in real life, they should be able to remember and connect.

Some of the taglines that we used on in our campaigns, we used them on our booth at the IMTEX. We also introduced a few other taglines, which continued in the post launch campaign. The show provided a medium for transition.

Your campaign title.

Be clear. Clear as a summer sky. We did because we find, our operations are not aligning with our brand name. Also, the market was pronouncing us wrong. People loved our products and they feel proud to own one. We have an NPS score of 93%. We were not changing our operational style. We wanted to communicate that. Henceforth, we titled the campaign- ‘The Same Great’.

As a marketing manager, it’s your job to be a part of the process to decide the title. This can’t be delegated.

Hammer it. Don’t be afraid of overdoing.

People should remember the brand and that’s what hammering helps you to get it.
When we started a month long campaign with identical posts on social media. Our digital marketing specialist got frustrated. His immediate response was ‘it will kill the engagement’ and he was right.

Social media posts.

The more we move with the campaign we find a noticeable drop in the engagement. But that doesn’t state it’s popularity. In fact, when we asked some of our users to scan through their social media.

And, asked them to identify the post and why they didn’t engage? They said it’s Sahajanand and they post such stuff. Bingo! There we go. It has become obvious.

Tell your people. In Style.

Your teammates at the company are going to communicate your brand in the market. It’s ironic when you are trying to tell the whole world about your new brand and your own people don’t know it. These are your people and if they are not convinced and practised, your rebranding can be a failure.

Importantly, all your team should know at the same time. There is no privilege here. We connected our offices and channel partners located across the globe at a central time.

Rebranding done with by understanding the need of the market and keeping customer at the centre of the communication could make wonders. It could transform and elevate your brand to a different level. If done as a trend it could send you out of the market. Remember GAP?

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