Maintaining the Brand…in Good Times and Bad

Aries Electronics: a Marketing Communications Success Story

Frank Folmsbee, Aries Electronics

Frank Folmsbee, Aries Electronics

Aries Electronics does a lot of things very well.  One is the way they design and manufacture interconnect components and assemblies for the electronic original equipment manufacturers market.  Another is the way they market their products and technologies. Adhering to an age old, time-proven adage, and guided by their close and long-term relationship with The Simon Group, they do it with consistency…in good times and bad.  And, as a result, have had very few “bad years”…even during economic downturns, such as the last one.

Aries was founded in 1972 by Bill Sinclair who remains at the company’s helm today, both as chief executive officer and chief new product designer.  The company has had only two marcom agencies in its 41-year history. Aries reluctantly moved on from its first agency, recognizing that they had outgrown what that agency could provide.  Several of the area’s leading media reps had talked to The Simon Group about Aries…and  to Aries about The Simon Group.  And, in 1991, Aries president Bill Sinclair and sales and marketing manager Frank Folmsbee made a visit to The Simon Group farmhouse.  The rest, as they say, is history.  We’ll let Frank tell the story…

“Aries was loyal to its first agency but, due to the age and illness of key agency members, we realized it was time to move on.  We had heard about The Simon Group from several of the reps we had done business with and whom we trusted.  When Bill and I visited the farmhouse and met with Marty and the other Groupies, we knew we had found our next agency.  On the way out, Bill turned to me and said “hire those guys!”

“Within a year The Simon Group completely revamped our media and creative strategy and instituted an extremely aggressive PR campaign. The combined result was a meteoric increase in brand recognition. We went from unranked in IC Sockets, one of our primary product categories, to sixth place, well ahead of some of our much bigger competitors, in just one year!

“In subsequent years, our streamlined media strategy, compelling creative look and on-going PR assault kept us high in the brand recognition and brand preference rankings…and help fuel our sales and profitability. The agency’s output helped not only generate leads but drive traffic to that new-fangled thing called the web.

“During downturns in the economy, including the most recent ones, we did need to cut back somewhat on our advertising expenditures. To make up for this shortfall in media exposure – both in print and online – The Simon Group ramped up the Aries PR machine even more. This kept our name highly visible in the trade press…and in the marketplace…throughout the slow times. And it helped us recover quickly from the downturns.

“These days, Aries has tremendous brand recognition throughout the EOEM. Our consistency has paid off. Last year, for example, we increased sales by over 50%!  Certainly the innovative products that we’ve brought to market have driven our successes, but unless the markets we sell to are aware of those products and the interconnect solutions we provide, success would be an impossible struggle. We came to The Simon Group to make sure the Aries name is seen where it needs to be seen…by our prospects and customers. And for two full decades, they have done just that!”

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