How an element of surprise helped Perry & Young outperform competitors in a flat industry
Perry & Young is one of 7,042 dental laboratories serving 163,000 U.S. dentists. Founded in 1979 in Denver, Colorado, Perry & Young had grown from 3 employees to 56 employees by 2012. However, due to a difficult economy, outsourcing pressures from China, and increasing cost of goods, labor and raw materials, the company's history of incremental growth came to an abrupt end.
For the first time in the company's 33-year history, it's top line revenue and net income was down from the prior year. Furthermore, the lab industry's low gross margins and high labor intensity don't allow for much margin of error.
The gist of the problem
Perry & Young had to figure out fast how to compete in a fragmented, mature market that was predicated on pricing, international outsourcing, and commoditization of their key money-makers, dental prosthesis. The company needed a new growth strategy to avoid layoffs and continued decline.
Solution: Differentiation with a twist
Our discovery process uncovered a key differentiator that would allow us to rebrand the company. Perry & Young already had in place Lean Management manufacturing processes, a team of experienced dental technicians to serve as in-office technical consultants, and the most comprehensive continuing education curriculum in the Rocky Mountain region.
Based on the insight that many dental practices are also struggling with growth, but lack fundamental business and marketing skills to create demand, we leveraged Perry & Young's key strengths and repositioned the company as "Your Business Advantage." We developed three discreet teams from existing staff to promote their areas of expertise and execute a comprehensive rebranding campaign:
Team Ninja—Technical experts that consult dentists on complicated cases and teach dentists advanced techniques and implant dentistry in their dental practice
Team Samurai—Business experts who consult and educate dentists on being better CEOs of their practice, applying proven business principles to improve growth and profitability
Sensei—A high level dentist and researcher who helps dentists become market leaders by integrating the latest proven procedures and materials into their practice
Using stories and imagery of ancient Asian warriors who created a strategic advantage for emperors and protected noblemen, we created an unexpected metaphor for Perry & Young's services. By reframing the scope of what they do as consultants who provide a competitive business advantage, we dramatized how Perry & Young protects the profitability of their clients' dental practices.
How we spread the word about Perry & Young… "Your Business Advantage."
- Marketing collateral
- Email campaigns
- Continuing Education presentations
- trade show booth graphics
- new business cards, and sales materials, customized for each team
Perry & Young's new brand positioning and marketing is garnering attention, excitement, respect, and greater perceived value within the dental community, leading to record profits for the company in each quarter since launching the campaign.
Since the launch of the modest initial branding campaign, Perry & Young has achieved year-over-year growth of 11.51%. The two largest regional competitors were down and continue to downsize. By comparison, the mid tier regional labs across the nation averaged 2% growth with the top lab only growing 6%.
The rebranding campaign, which has inspired the company's employees, is changing client perceptions and creating true believers. Today, Perry & Young's profile and brand equity in the Rocky Mountain region is the highest its been in the company's 35-year history. In 2014 we are building upon our success with a new web site and additional content initiatives to add another dimension to their new brand positioning.