Caterpillar Brand Unification for a Complex Global Network


The Situation

During BrandActive’s first meeting with Caterpillar, it became clear that this brand-centric organization had audacious goals: to convert more than 200 independent global dealerships to a new, unified visual system—covering service fleets, building signage, uniforms, and stationery.

The Challenge

This program was based on an established cooperative funding model and involved thousands of locations worldwide, spanning cultural, geographic, and language boundaries. The co-op program had a deadline and specific requirements related to fund allocation, all of which added to the overall complexity and need for control.

The Solution

After approaching the program with internal resources, Caterpillar engaged BrandActive to complete the time-sensitive transition for global retail dealers. BrandActive scoped the initiative, conducted a gap analysis, and introduced changes to the process. We also developed a robust reporting capability to track the true state of the project. We revised the co-op fund program rules and expedited the auditing and approval of dealer submissions. For added project control, BrandActive created a project resource structure, estimates and budgets, and established priorities for Caterpillar’s worldwide marketing entities.

BrandActive also played a key role in managing communications with dealers and authorized suppliers to address technical specifications and revise plans, based on production capacity. We worked directly with suppliers to manage quality issues and ensure brand compliance. The signage system we developed enabled dealers to present a unified look and place their name alongside the CAT trademark, with strict rules governing the size and placement of each mark.

The Results

At the conclusion of our work, more than 70% of locations worldwide had been converted and the processes were in place for Caterpillar to bring the project to successful completion.


“BrandActive was instrumental in laying a foundation that allowed us to gain control and reengineer our process.”

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When it came to implementation, the core team in Peoria was almost immediately overwhelmed with details and dilemmas. Tracking the progress of the project became a project of its own. BrandActive was instrumental in laying a foundation that allowed us to gain control and reengineer a process to deal effectively with the complexities implicit in a project of this nature.

Former Brand Identity Manager, Caterpillar
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