Itasca, Ill. — Covestro LLC swept the Plastics News Marketing Summit Awards by winning the 2016 Campaign of the Year award in the materials category, as well as the Grand Prize and People's Choice awards.
Other winners included Maguire Products, which won 2016 Campaign of the Year in the equipment and services provider category; MTD Micromolding, which won in the processor category; and Society of Plastics Engineers' SPE is Me campaign, which won the wild card category.
Alice Sox, manager of external communications at Covestro, represented the company in accepting the awards and speaking about how the spin-off from Bayer MaterialScience built its brand recognition.
With a small team of about five employees, including Sox, Covestro re-branded itself and launched in September 2015, about a year after Bayer announced it was going to split its MaterialScience branch off from the rest of the group.
"If the company was to take on a new identity, [the communications team] would undoubtedly play a part in that — and this presented both challenges and opportunities for us," Sox said.
First, the challenges: Covestro was under a significant time crunch to name its new company and launch its brand. Just nine months after Bayer's initial MaterialScience announcement, the new name for the company was announced.
"It would be a name that obviously no one had ever heard of and half of our stakeholders couldn't even pronounce," said Sox.
The team had also enjoyed a certain level of brand recognition under the Bayer name, which was gone.
"There was a lot of history and pride and comfort attached to that Bayer name," Sox said.
Now, for the opportunities. Sox and the rest of the communications team previously didn't have much ownership over the Bayer MaterialScience brand, as it was tied to Bayer's corporate brand. With Covestro's spin-off, suddenly they were responsible for everything, at least in North America, and this was their chance to, as Sox said, "make a big impression."
As for the rest of the company, though feelings of fear and uncertainty still existed, there was a feeling among employees that something big was happening, and genuine excitement began to grow.