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Launching a new brand in 2021 for an engineering company established in 1917

With a world class pedigree for creating the best in kind 'made to order' custom precision gear pump solutions, Slack & Parr’s challenge was to launch a new range of 'ready for dispatch' pumps.

Increasing demand for similar specification pump

Slack & Parr have undertaken huge investment in changing the business during the last 24 months, something which has stayed on track despite all the challenges of the global pandemic. This included a move to a state of the art purpose built facility. This in turn has enabled their engineering processes to be designed around the modern-day manufacturing requirements of their current product range and enabled the management team to then explore other markets and opportunities, including ‘off the shelf’ external gear pumps. A new product range was created to address the specifications for the market sectors identified.

Understanding the best route to market

With an open brief, Neil Anderton, Hydraulics and Industrial Director, and David Flanagan, Technical Sales Engineer, organised a discovery meeting with Slack & Parr’s Marketing Advisors so that all the factors could be considered, and an outline launch programme agreed. With their understanding of market demand, plus the gaps they identified that the new product range potentially addressed, a SWOT analysis was carried out. The most effective ultimate route to market was determined to be ecommerce, as this could address the global opportunity identified in addition to simplified administration. With Google translate, it could communicate in multiple languages, take orders and provide any additional support required via a customer portal. It was also agreed that the ecommerce facility needed to be built and fully prepared but have the faculty to be held temporarily while all the other parts of the jigsaw were assembled.  

Finally, the new range needed to trade on the heritage and quality of the core business brand – but have a separate identity to avoid any confusion with that range.

Product name, branding, launch plan and agile web development

As experts in engineering, Neil and David understood the product needs, but worked with the Marketing team to put a launch programme together. Slack & Parr were committed to show at the CHEMUK 2021 exhibition, so this was identified as the best opportunity to cost effectively introduce the new brand to the widest possible audience.

Why call it Pulseless Flow?

A new brand name can contribute to communication, just think about the Ronseal advert, ‘it does what it says on the tin.’ This is even more crucial when it comes to launching a brand in the ecommerce space. Which is why generic terms, which describe the pumps core function, were searched upon using Google. If the searches returned either potential competitors, and/or the type of pumps to be sold – it meant the terms were relevant to the markets being targeted. Any of the search terms that did reveal similar products, were then followed up to see if they were available as a domain name.

A name which immediately conveys what the new brand is about

Using a generic term enables the name to immediately communicate the new pump brands niche – a critical factor of any potential product name. Typically this works in reverse – think Hoover, which is often used in place of vacuuming. A shortlist of three names based upon ‘generic terms’ was agreed upon to work up as logos. These were presented to the board at Slack & Parr, with the rational of why each name was selected, plus how it would fit within the outline plan being developed. The board unanimously selected Pulseless Flow. This was because a key criteria of customer demand leading to the development of the new brand, was the need for a ‘pulse less’ or constant flow.

How the Pulseless Flow branding was developed

The logo selected was refined further and designed to incorporate elements of the Slack & Parr branding. It needed to incorporate on the heritage and quality of the core business brand – but have a separate identity to avoid confusion with the core range. This was then worked across the marketing collateral required for the expo, packaging and website. The holistic approach ensured the brand image communicated high quality, immediate availability and a clear narrative to ensure all stakeholders understood the difference between this new range of pumps and the core product range.

The website categorised pumps by function and industry sector

The new range of pumps were highly configurable, had several points of difference within each of the niche markets. In order to simplify the customer journey, the pumps were categorised within the industry sectors and specific applications. This meant only the key points of interest for a sector and application would be focused upon and the user could see at a glance the specific products relevant to their requirements.

Expo an opportunity to demonstrate the benefits

A challenge identified for the new product range was how could the ‘pulse less’ flow be demonstrated. With a little creative thinking, the idea of the flow uniformly powering a water-wheel in the shape of a precision gear was agreed upon as a central feature of the expo stand. Supported by graphics to explain the benefits, plus an advert and leaflet, the launch programme took shape.

It was important to us to understand how we could communicate the benefits of the new products proactively, plus keep the clear separation between the existing core products. Most importantly, determining how we could capitalise on the quality of our long-established brand, without endangering our brand equity. With a fixed timescale and just a few basic ideas, we managed to arrive at a clear strategy of exactly how we were going to achieve this, and we’re really pleased with where this has taken us


Neil Anderton, Industrial Director, Slack and Parr


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