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The rebranding of CDM to CDM Stravitec: an interview with Laurence Carels (CEO)
After many years of successful business as CDM, why did the name change, and why now? From your perspective, why was it necessary for CDM to rebrand to CDM Stravitec?
We are now taking the opportunity to evolve our brand in order to better communicate the breadth of our services and realign with our refined value proposition and vision. Our mission is a refined version of what we have always known best about ourselves: we deliver quality engineered noise and vibration isolation solutions – making your world a quieter place.
Growth is part of our DNA. From our humble beginnings as a plastic cork materials manufacturer in the 1950s to the multi-faceted solution provider we are today, we have never shied away from change when it is the right thing for our customers. Over the past 70 years, CDM has grown and become a leader in engineered noise and vibration isolation solutions used in many different applications and projects around the world. When we entered this market, composite damping materials were at the heart of our business. Today however, our solutions are no longer composite-based. We have expanded our business to incorporate a broad range of different materials, allowing us to design the required and best suited vibration isolation solutions, regardless the material. Clients have come to know and appreciate us as a solution provider, rather than a material supplier. Our material independence and our engineering capabilities are our greatest strength, and we wanted our new name to reflect that. At the same time, we couldn’t ignore the fact that ‘CDM’ has become a well-known and trusted name in the industry, even though most people don’t even know what the acronym stands for.
It’s also important to note that the name ‘CDM’, though an easy to remember acronym, is being used by many other companies today. From communication agencies to dairy plants, ‘CDM’ is everywhere, and in today’s digital world, being easy to find is more important than ever.
Does rebranding have an impact on HR level? Was everyone working for CDM involved?
HR involvement in a company rebrand is crucial in my opinion. From day one, we tried to include everyone at our company and not just the obvious parties like management and marketing. A company’s brand inevitably affects the way employees think, feel, and talk about your company, which is why it’s important to include everyone in the conversation. Not only does it teach us something about how they feel about our company and how they see our future, it also makes them feel appreciated, involved, and more at ease about what’s to come. Happy, confident employees that are on board with the rebranding are invaluable, because in the end, they will need to get the word out and promote our company to the best of their abilities. Our staff were involved every step of the way and received regular updates on the development and roll-out of our new brand. In addition, we provided them with new branded stationery items and corporate apparel to accentuate the group feeling.
We should also not underestimate the importance of a strong brand with a clear and recognizable identity when it comes to attracting new talent. The way we market ourselves is vital when it comes to hiring the best in the business. Increasing name recognition among applicants is important to make potential recruits more familiar with what we do, to persuade them to consider us actively, and apply for the jobs we have on offer.
Knowing that CDM Stravitec is a family-owned company, how easy/difficult was it to go through this rebranding process? Are there any anecdotes you want to share?
Let me rephrase the question. Would it be easy for you to change the name of your son or daughter from one day to another? Because that’s exactly how it felt to me. For as long as I can remember, CDM has been part of my life. As a young girl, I would visit my parents at work and run around these corridors with my brother and sister, and later in life CDM is where I landed my first job. So yes, taking the decision to change our company name was quite difficult. Well aware of all the objective reasons to rebrand, in the end it always remains an emotional matter as well. We thought long and hard about our rename and came to the conclusion that it was a necessary step in our company’s evolution. Though a bit uncomfortable at first, today I am very happy with the new name and I’m even happier with the strategic roadmap we’ve set out for CDM Stravitec and how the whole group has come together as a family and embraced CDM Stravitec.
Growth is part of our DNA. From our humble beginnings as a plastic cork materials manufacturer in the 1950s to the multi-faceted solution provider we are today, we have never shied away from change when it is the right thing for our customers.