A regional rigid plastic packaging maker is rebranding from a long-time family name to a new identity company officials said better describes a widening view and an appetite for growth.
Schoeneck Containers Inc., created 50 years ago by Robert Schoeneck as a blow molder, is now Radius Packaging Inc.
The move away from the Schoeneck name comes after Milwaukee-based private equity firm Mason Wells Inc. purchased the company in 2020 along with management and other investors.
Based in New Berlin, Wis., Radius also has a highly automated manufacturing site in Delavan, Wis., that opened in 2019.
The company spent the better part of a year considering a new name and settled on Radius for more than one reason.
"We've changed a lot and grown over the last 50 years. This is also our 50-year anniversary. We've added a lot of capabilities beyond blow molding to the organization. So we wanted to really reflect our full-service rigid plastic packaging capabilities and how we look at going to the market," CEO Tom Frank said.
"We want to become more technical as well. We're no longer a small, family-owned blow molder. We've put a lot of investment and time and people into our facilities. It's a good time for us to change our approach to our customers in the market," he said.
But, at the same time, the company wanted to be respectful of its history and what the Schoeneck family accomplished during its ownership, Frank said.
"We're sensitive because we really respect our history from the standpoint of the Schoenecks who have given us all an opportunity here. We really wanted to be sensitive to that," Frank said as he spoke carefully about that aspect of the name change. "That's what you are hearing a little bit, because it was such a part of who we were."
Crystal Humphreys was hired as marketing director with the idea that she would be deeply involved with the name change process. She said because of the expense and cost involved in rebranding, the company would not have undertaken a change simply to move away from the Schoeneck name, which can be difficult to pronounce and spell for some people.
The change is reflective of much more, she said.
"I came on board about a year ago knowing we needed to really change how we position ourselves in the market because we just haven't invested in that way before. As that family owned company we were intentionally private and had an opportunity to look at what we could do educate the market on all the investments that we've been making," Humphreys said.
"Changing our brand or refreshing our name is really aligned with that, catching up with the investments we already made in technologies and in services. It's also just time to change the look and feel of the company so that it represents what we've already created in our capability set," she said.
"It was a several month process of just learning, talking to our customers, talking to our internal stakeholders, and doing some research to just get a feel for who we are, where we are headed, our future vision. And then it was how does that translate into a name," Humphreys said.
Radius, even before the name change, had taken to calling itself a rigid plastic packaging producer as the firm's capabilities have grown beyond its blow molding roots to also include injection molding and labeling.
More than 30 names, both from internal sources as well as marketing group Trefoil Group were considered before Radius was selected.
The CEO pointed to a dictionary definition of the word 'radius' as a reason why the name makes sense in his view. A radius is a straight line that points out from the center of a circle to its circumference. And the company wants to be just that: a company reaching out into the market for its customers and its customers' customers, he said.
Adopting the Radius name also signals to the market the company's aspirations to move beyond a regional player viewed as a family operation, Frank said.
"We want people to understand we're bigger than that. We're more expansive than that. We're more visionary in where we are going. That's, I think, what's really important," Frank said. "We're really excited about this change because we're taking a different step. We want to continue to grow."
The name Radius as it relates to a circle also is a nod to the company's history as the firm once only used blow molding wheel technology created by founder Robert Schoeneck. Radius also fits as the new name as the bottles the company makes often are round, the CEO said.
Frank said the company's business philosophy can be expressed by thinking about how a radius extends from the center of a circle. "We feel our customers, that can be internal and external, are the center of our business," he said. "We want to be a critical packaging partner that connects our customers and their products to their customers. So that's how we're focused on this," Frank said.
Even with the change, he said the company tried to strike a balance between the company's history and its future in selecting a new name.
"We're very sensitive to our past and what got us to where we are today. And that played a big role into picking the name, too, and how the vision of how we want to be in the future," Frank said. "We had to combine past and future in the way we were looking at it."
The company will continue to be called Schoeneck as the "overarching legal entity," Humphreys said in an email, but that name "won't ever appear anywhere publicly and we won't use it anywhere except where we have to for legal documents."
Radius Packaging also will not use "Inc." in any branding, logos and marketing materials, she said.