At a time when “growth” and “expansion” were unthinkable words for the defense technology industry, FAUN TRACKWAY, a Wales-based technology manufacturer, decided to launch a newly incorporated American company, FAUN TRACKWAY USA, in Washington, D.C.
Other industry giants saw the U.S. defense budget shrinking and launched public re-organization efforts to satisfy the increasingly austere needs of the United States Armed Forces. Not FAUN. They told us they wanted to expand and sought our help to lead a branding campaign to win defense procurement contracts. We signed on to handle all aspects of the branding, strategic positioning and launch effort.
To win on the battlefield you must get to the battlefield. FAUN makes that easier for troops. FAUN manufactures portable roadways, landing mats and other mobility devices used for defense applications. Simple mobility in harsh climates and terrain is a shared obstacle for all soldiers; challenging physical surroundings often impair planning and movement whether on the modern battlefield or in areas stricken by natural disaster. FAUN’s solutions are used by more than 40 armed forces around the world, including most NATO allies.
FAUN TRACKWAY USA’s value proposition for U.S. expansion was unique: The company promised to manufacture in the U.S. From the onset of its launch planning, FAUN was prepared to play a meaningful role in the American business community by creating manufacturing jobs instead of shipping orders overseas. The company was ready to connect with an American audience.
To focus on a government audience in a time of financial cutbacks, the launch effort required a new brand and voice for a company that had a legacy of providing defense products since World War II. Qorvis’ defense and technology experts helped FAUN make that upgrade. To accomplish this goal, we set out to achieve the following objectives:
- Introduce FAUN TRACKWAY to American business and defense trade reporters.
- Educate potential advocates in the U.S. Armed Forces and defense industry regarding FAUN’s unique technology.
- Plan and produce a large-scale launch event at the British Embassy in Washington to celebrate FAUN’s arrival to the United States.
Qorvis worked with FAUN TRACKWAY USA to tell the company’s new story in the U.S. This required research-driven messaging, development of content for website and collateral, media training for all senior executives, and a launch-day media campaign that left a good impression in the nation’s capital. We positioned FAUN as a small, yet energetic company, ready to take on the American marketplace and create domestic jobs in the process. The story garnered broad interest, and Qorvis coordinated media roundtable discussions and interviews with Washington, D.C.’s top business and defense trade reporters. FAUN CEO J. Alun Jones met with each publication individually to personally tell the company’s story to editors and reporters.
We also took the lead in helping to plan, produce and promote the media launch event hosted by the British Embassy, working with diplomats and the U.K. Trade and Investment staff. This involved strategic invitation planning and media outreach. Qorvis also secured Togo West, former secretary of Veteran Affairs and secretary of the Army, to give the keynote address to a packed crowd of defense industry luminaries, military decision makers and government officials. After learning about FAUN’s unique offerings, West discussed the company’s technology and made it clear that the United States military is engaged in combat far from home, and that U.K. forces are with them as they have been many times before, including during disaster-relief operations. He said the history and expertise of FAUN TRACKWAY suggests that they have found a supplier to ensure that the military performs safely and successfully whether here, or abroad.
The media caught on to FAUN’s story and the launch event, resulting in a feature story in The Washington Post. This was followed by extensive coverage in major defense trade publications, including Jane’s Defense Weekly and Defense News. FAUN leaders left the United States with a solid network of new friends and allies in the Washington’s business and government-procurement communities. Product testing with the U.S. Armed Forces has been immensely successful, and FAUN finished its launch poised to win contracts in the near future.