Not Set in Stone – a case for commodity branding

We helped CEMEX – a leading multinational building materials company, develop their neogem brand. neogem is positioned as the high-performance aggregates brand of CEMEX, therefore it was crucial to develop a globally inclusive brand platform and marketing strategy.

In a bid to showcase the superior quality of aggregate materials, CEMEX launched the neogem brand in 2017. The brand operates across five sectors: landscaping, agriculture, environmental, industrial and sports. It sells a diverse range of aggregate products, from exotic decorative stones for landscaping projects, to high performance sports sands for professionals. Following a soft launch period of 2 years, CEMEX asked Creative Supply to audit the positioning and performance of the neogem brand across their various markets and use this information to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy.

Out of many, one

neogem is a complex global brand, it is active in multiple countries and regions and the product portfolio varies at a local level. To overcome these challenges, we set up interviews with neogem team members from all markets, as well as their customers. We questioned them on their perception of the brand, and their expectations and ideas for moving forward. We also conducted secondary research, scoping out industry-shaping trends, market opportunities and competitors’ behaviour.

This groundwork led to the presentation of a comprehensive brand audit to the brand management team. In it, we were able to extract key insights and commonalities from a diverse data set. These common elements reinforced some aspects of the current brand platform and revealed some pain points to be overcome. We concluded the report with several recommendations that served as a basis for a marketing strategy proposal.

The high-performance brand of CEMEX

An intrinsic part of the neogem brand is its relationship with its parent company, CEMEX. Therefore, we needed to provide the business with recommendations on how to celebrate the relationship and add value to both brands. It was decided to reposition neogem as a sub-brand of CEMEX, building on the strength and name recognition of the latter, while elevating the uniqueness of the products sold under the neogem brand.

A well-known example of this strategy is Mercedes-AMG, the sporting offshoot of car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz. Thus, it was decided to market and position neogem as the performance aggregates brand of CEMEX.

We partnered with Creative Supply to gain expertise and support with our neogem brand. They were quickly able to understand our unique business model and obtain key insights from our geographically diverse teams. Their input was professional throughout the entire project, from the brand audit to delivery of a global marketing strategy. We would recommend Creative Supply for their branding expertise.

Luis Carlos Garza Espinoza,Cemex Aggregates Global Network

Global rollout

The final part of the project was to create a bold, multi-tiered marketing strategy to help neogem embed its position in existing markets, and in in turn facilitate its launch in new markets In the future. The strategy was built around three axes:

  • Powerful brand messaging
  • A clear definition of global and local deliverables
  • Marketing tools in practice

Key Takeaway

Branding is a process, not a one-time project. As businesses evolve, so must their brands adapt to new market realities and changing customer expectations. The problem is that most brands wait until they encounter difficulties before enacting change. By proactively reaching out to Creative Supply,neogem was able to preserve the momentum of its launch, and avoid common problems faced by growing brands.