Even Most Venerable U.S. Companies Brush Up Their Images to Stay Competitive

It isn’t often you hear about a 158-year-old getting a makeover, but companies increasingly are realizing that brushing up their image is just the thing they need to stay competitive.

After more than a century and a half of solid, rather serious work supplying the automotive, aerospace, agriculture, and manufacturing industries with high-quality industrial brushes, rubber seals and other industrial necessities, the former Felton Brush Inc. decided it needed to modernize its brand and promote the newer elements of its capabilities to new audiences that might have been unaware of expansions in its offerings. These include both the enhancement and development of in-house abilities, as well as expertise gained through strategic acquisitions.

To effect its transformation Felton brought in two top agencies, Julian James Advertising Design of New York and WritingWorks of Pennsylvania. The project, which took shape over a period of more than 18 months, involved a great deal of collaboration with the team at Felton.

Together, Julian James and WritingWorks assisted in giving the strategy a visual concept that will be appealing in the marketplace and reinforce the next iteration of the Felton brand.

Ever since before the Civil War, Felton Brush has been one of New England’s most diverse manufacturers, but in recent years they expanded their expertise in basic science, design, manufacturing, and traditional machining and fabrication to become not only the largest manufacturer of custom brush products, but a cradle-to-grave supplier of highly engineered assemblies. The repositioning project was intended to not only give the company a new name, a new image, and a new website, but to promote their new areas of expertise, simultaneously propelling them forward while honoring their heritage.

On December 16th, a new company emerged. The new website, www.feltoninc.com , gives new emphasis to Felton’s engineering and many creative services, and physically reflects the dynamic changes in the company by evolving the traditional, square-and-static frame with new, fluid shapes, handsome moving images, and clickable links allowing ease of navigation through their many product lines.

Perhaps the boldest move of all was to give the brush-off to one of the company’s trademark identifiers: the word “brush.” The new company name was now streamlined to simply “Felton Inc.” Felton, Inc. President & CEO Dan Boehm says the change is also intended to more accurately communicate the company’s scope and focus.

“Our new name formalizes a shift in our corporate strategy that has been underway for several years,” Boehm said. “Our business has grown considerably in terms of both our capabilities and the markets we serve. With this change, we preserve the Felton name in our legacy markets while removing any limitation on how we describe the full scope of our mission in the marketplace.”

The results were immediate and dramatic. Average daily hits to the Felton website nearly doubled in the first week after launch. Praise poured in from users, some of whom may have been surprised by the breadth of the company’s offerings.

“Felton is and has always been a leader in its industry; over 150 years their innovations made them the largest company of their kind.” said Julian James Advertising Design partner Anthony Taibi. “They simply needed a presence that was as dynamic and cutting-edge as the work they do and also captured the new capabilities that have resulted from their recent growth.”

“We are thrilled about the launch of our new site,” added Boehm. “It better depicts the extent of our capabilities, but just as importantly, it offers a glimpse into the culture of the company. The site really captures how we do business, and it is an essential part of our strategy to remain a leader.”

Julian James Advertising Design ( www.julianjamesadvertising.com ) has won over 100 national and international advertising, graphic design, and interactive awards for its work in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. WritingWorks, Ltd. ( www.writingworksltd.com ) helps clients to better understand the markets they work in and improve the ways they tell their stories in those marketplaces.

Felton Inc. ( www.feltoninc.com ) is a leading manufacturer of highly engineered assemblies for an enormous array of industrial applications. The company serves a diverse range of markets, including automotive, aerospace, agriculture, business equipment, and commercial transportation. The Londonderry, NH enterprise offers a technically advanced platform of design, manufacturing, machining, and assembly capabilities.

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