Building A High-Itensity Brand In A Low-Interest Category
Creating “Amazing Stuff”
Foamex International began as a division of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in the first half of the 20th century. By 1986, the company was independent and on its way to becoming one of the leading foam manufacturers in the world. By 2009, Foamex International was facing significant competitive challenges due to industry consolidation. In response, the company restructured its ownership, from publicly traded to privately held, and its business, to focus on a new vision and business strategy. Specifically, to compete effectively, Foamex sought to shift from a sales and volume-driven chemical commodity business — the game played by its competitors — to a market and customer-driven, value-added products business. The company needed new branding to help transform its organization and change the perceptions of its key stakeholders.
With over 400 patents, the Foamex leadership saw the company’s innovation as its core differentiator and the pivot point for the company’s transformation. Understanding that the company’s transformation required employees and other stakeholders to change their thinking and behaviors, Foamex brought in MBLM to reshape its brand.
MBLM’s initial analysis revealed a fragmented brand experience, with outdated descriptive (and sometimes conflicting) messages, multiple products and trademarks, unfocused marketing efforts and an organizationally driven go-to-market strategy. This complexity posed a significant barrier to communicating the changes within the company and its renewed focus on innovation.
Working closely with senior management, MBLM reframed the company’s core tenets and values and developed a new value proposition based on innovation. To unequivocally signal the new strategy and the company’s transformation, MBLM recommended changing the company name to FXI (shorthand for Foamex Innovations) and showcasing the new name through a bold visual identity and design system. MBLM then developed an internal launch theme, called “Amazing Stuff,” to focus the organization on creating new possibilities and to highlight the contribution the company was making to its customers and to society as a whole. With a new corporate website designed by MBLM, FXI was also able to showcase its new strategy and offerings to external audiences.
The new FXI was armed with a fresh, energized brand that brought to life the company’s innovation-focused positioning and reinforced the distinctive breadth, scope and “Amazing Stuff” the company offers. This has enabled the company to hold its own through a down global economy and to quickly spring back into growth mode. Today, customers, suppliers and peers recognize FXI as an industry leader with one of the largest and most diverse foam manufacturing and distribution networks in the world.