Dec. 6, 2006 – The new face of Dura Lube
Dura Lube engine additives and appearance products were first introduced in 1986. Taking on Slick 50 Engine Treatment head on, the company carved out an impressive number two position in the chemical aisle. Annual sales topped $90 million, and there seemed to be no end in sight.
In the mid 90’s the entire additive category came under scrutiny, and DuraLube’s direct response strategy became less effective. In fact the entire engine additive industry has slowed from its explosive growth in the 90’s to a steady yet stable double-digit annual increase since 2000. The category as a whole has weeded out the snake oil charmers leaving the chemical aisle with some very strong brands, according to Information Resources Inc.
Enter a young aggressive VC backed new player called “Into Great Brands (IGB),” located in Columbus, Ohio. Armed with a determined action plan to lift Dura Lube out of the doldrums and rejuvenate the brand, IGB jumped in. The brand may have been fledgling but the team that was put in place were battle hardened category pros, led by CEO William Beichner originally with the team that impressively took Slick 50 all the way to number one. The company is now challenging the number two position in the category, and has gained back 15,000 retail shelves with over 30,000 product facings.
“Dura Lube had been wounded but was far from dead.” Bill Beichner stated in his opening remarks to his support team on opening day one year ago. In less than twelve months the entire line has been tweaked, tightened, improved and given a whole new facelift from a revitalized logo to new package designs in every product in the lineup. “You haven’t seen it all yet but it’s done and ready to be rolled out to the public,” says VP of Marketing and package design guru Ed Gibbs.
Dura Lube has over 60 million satisfied customers who continue to support the brand. “It’s an American icon that deserves its spot in history and into the future,” remarked Rick Mays, a long time DL user. “Now my kids will have the chance to carry on into the next generation, that’s a good thing,” says Adam Grant, a California long haul trucker and amateur bracket drag racer. “I put it everywhere and it’s never let me down.” Loyal followers and believers in additive products seem to always be ready to stand up for their brand. Category support runs as deep as NASCAR sponsorship supporters, which is 71% brand loyal according to Performance Research Inc.
The additive segment may never see the explosion of growth it once had, however the tried and true brands will continue to endure and grow at steady rates. Who knows the next new super tech additive could be just around the corner and it’s a good bet that one of the hungry brands like Dura Lube could lead the way.
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