Briggs & Stratton: Building a legacy of self-reliance

Ask consumers about their mowers, generators or other power equipment and they’ll tell you they have a Toro, a Snapper or a Craftsman. But, look under the hood and you’ll more than likely find a Briggs & Stratton.


Briggs & Stratton is the global leader in small engines, and at one point enjoyed strong brand awareness and recognizable iconography. However, in serving the needs of its OEM customers it took attention away from its own brand, creating an awareness and relevancy gap with younger consumers.

Legacy of self-reliance


Seeing that fewer and fewer consumers recognized or demanded the brand, our client asked for help in making Briggs & Stratton relevant again.

As long as there are those who take pride in their work and in doing the job right, one thing will stay the same. Every time a Briggs & Stratton fires up, it releases an energy that doesn’t come from gas and oil, but from the power that’s within each of us.

– Excerpt from Briggs & Stratton executive brand book

The process


Recapturing the spirit of the brand started with a redesign of the core identity system. Over the more than three decades since the last update, the logo had grown dated and collected an array of disconnected sub-brand marks, icons and language.

In our audit, we discovered that there was little iconography or language that supported the brand in a consistent or meaningful way. What was there was visually fragmented or dated looking, the result of creating branding elements without the benefit of a strategic foundation.


The re-branding challenge was to unlock any latent engine equity and build a feeling of self-reliance. Cue explored several complete branding systems, each with an identity, architecture, naming convention, engine treatment and package solution.

 

 

Our exploration was thorough, investigating a variety of treatments, naming configurations and design conventions. All reflected the heritage of the Briggs & Stratton brand.

The redesigned logo retains elements of historic marks, creating a more badge-like presence and bringing to mind the central role the engine plays.

Identity as iconography


One shortcoming of the outdated system was a lack of secondary iconography to designate the different roles the brand played. We created a new system that incorporates the advertising signature, engine designation, genuine parts, commercial power and racing into a single solution.

Rolling out the brand


To ensure that employees understood the essence of the new branding and could bring it to life, identity guidelines were created. The new guidelines package included two pieces: an identity system overview brochure, and a DVD containing instructional information and the digital artwork for the system.

The guidelines, new business cards and a gift were packaged togetherand given to key members of management within the company.

Parts to the puzzle


Briggs & Stratton makes maintenance and replacement parts for every product it makes and many it doesn’t. The new parts packaging system incorporates the use of trilingual naming, product numbers, engine specifications and icons in an architecture that makes it easy for consumers to find the exact part they need.

Graphic silhouettes of parts feel powerful, and show a passion and pride in a job well done.

Hard working equipment


The brand is a natural fit for licensed product. We evaluated brand appropriate partnerships and created concepts to bring the ideas to life, such as high performance work gloves.

Materials that become more equipment than apparel fit perfectly under the self-reliant message “The Power Within”.

Heavy duty architecture


With numerous sub-brands that bleed across three very different consumer groups, as well as performance features that cross-reference all of them, a modular color coding system of “good-better-best” was paired with an iconography system that could snap on or off as needed.

The color coding of the sub-brands; bold red meaning “good”, silver “better”, and a rich black “best” could apply to the product itself as well.


We knew the strategy was right, the real challenge became embodying the character of self-reliance in everything we did as a company. The Cue solution gave Briggs & Stratton a new visual language that had certainty and confidence. From logos to trade shows to packaging and racing, all of our efforts deliver the brand proposition.

– Mary Sausen, VP Brand Marketing, Briggs & Stratton