PROFILE: Ceri George - Strategic Marketing Manager, Corus Colorcoat
How much common ground is there between a computer processor manufacturer and truly global brand Intel, and Colorcoat, the pre-coated steel subsidiary of Anglo-Dutch steel-maker Corus? 'Not a lot,' you would be forgiven for thinking. Unless of course you'd spoken to Ceri George, strategic marketing manager at Corus Colorcoat, who has engineered and led a transformation of the specialist Corus subsidiary's commitment and approach to marketing over the last six years.
George explains that a central part of her strategy has been to establish Colorcoat as an ingredient brand, which is a key consideration in the decision making process for a larger product; in this case, steel-coated buildings, in Intel's case, PCs. We want our customers to see the Colorcoat brand like 'The Intel inside', explains George. It gives them reassurance and peace of mind.
Like Intel, Colorcoat has made a concerted effort to build a relationship with the ultimate users of its products (in its case, commissioners of the buildings; in Intel's, buyers of PCs and servers), as well as the direct customers that are mostly architects and developers. As a result, Colorcoat and Intel have developed remarkably similar propositions, although in dramatically different industries and circumstances. The logic is easy to follow, and the solution is an extremely adept way of tackling a tricky marketing issue. However, Colorcoat's recent escalation of this strategy has emerged not from a marketing department wishing to be seen to be doing something clever for its own sake, but from a very real set of challenges facing the global steel industry. Indeed, it may ultimately be the factor that safeguards the business for the future and protects its 400 jobs.