When Jerry Lynch
became president and
chief operating officer of General Metals Powder Co.
last April, he wasted no time
making changes.

New to the sintered metallic
friction materials industry,
Lynch learned that customers
didn’t really know what the
company — then known as
GEMPCO — did.

“One customer described us
as something on his mantel:
He knew it was there but
never really paid much attention to it,” Lynch says. “I knew
then we were in trouble.”

Lynch launched a rebranding campaign, and last fall,
Friction Products, and the
company rolled out a new
Web site, expanded product
line, sell sheets, advertisements and a renewed attitude
among its 60 employees.

Smart Business spoke with
Lynch about how creating a
new corporate identity can be
the first step toward reinventing your company’s future.

Q. How did you decide to
create a new corporate

One member of the management team recommended it,
and we all kind of kicked it
around. As things started to
progress, we realized it wasn’t
a name change, it was a
rebranding. That’s when we
began brainstorming.

A marketing company did all
of our marketing activities for
us. They helped us get a handle on who our customers
were and how to contact them
because that information wasn’t readily available here.

Q. How do you justify the
expense of hiring a marketing

We’re not a huge company,
and we were able to easily
absorb the costs of the project; this is one of the better
investments that we’ve ever

I know it’s not a piece of
equipment that’s going to put
parts out the door, but this is
going to get us more sales
than any piece of equipment
ever would, and that’s what
we’re looking to do.

It’s important to spend the
time because this is your shot.
You don’t want to
change your name every
six months, so you want
to pick one that can
stick and that people are
going to remember and