Sperian Name Ready for the Americas and the World

The North American launch of the Sperian brand name strategy took place today at the 95th Annual National Safety Congress in Chicago, with CEO Henri-Dominique Petit and other top personnel explaining the rationale for changing Bacou-Dalloz’s name and keeping only some of its 16 brands.

“The decision to change the name was certainly not taken lightly,” said John Montigny, marketing manager Americas. “We are very confident we have found a name that will work across all countries and all markets.”

Petit said the name Sperian works well for several reasons. Unlike “Bacou-Dalloz,” the new name will be pronounced similarly everywhere in the world. The “Sper” in the name connotes expertise in some countries and hope in others, while the “ian” connotes warmth and a futuristic outlook, he said. “We felt that it was a good blend. We are trying to occupy the communication territory of trust,” Petit added.

The Paris-based company is spending 10 million euros on the name changes it is making and expects to complete in mid-2009, Montigny said. The “power” brands of Bacou-Dalloz--Howard Leight in hearing protection, Uvex in eyewear, and Miller in fall protection--are being retained and will all have a “by Sperian” addition to their names.

Sperian also is creating Sperian Fire, a unit that will include SCBAs, instruments, and turnout gear--for a market that is unique from the industrial department in its needs and how its end users obtain information, Petit said.

He said the name change was done “to support our brands in a more simplified way” and also to facilitate growth in emerging countries such as Russia and China, where Sperian’s sales are already growing strongly. Still, only 6 percent of its 2006 sales were in countries outside North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. “We feel we have a lot of opportunities in emerging countries. In my opinion, emerging countries are only starting to understand the importance of safety,” Petit said. “In these countries, we cannot afford to have more than two, three, or four brands.”

Sperian unveiled many new products at the Congress, including two new horizontal lifeline kits, four new lines of the Revolution fall harness, a Dura-Streme™ eyewear lens in which anti-fog capability is within the lens, sterile eyewash, a new hard hat, new additions to the branded Harley Davidson line, two new ear plugs with a software product to facilitate personal, real-world noise attenuation, and more.

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