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5,976 $m

In spite of a challenging environment for heavy equipment brands—and at a time when the operational focus for the organization has meant cost reductions and job cuts in response to falling global demand—industry veteran Caterpillar is attempting a fundamental change. It continues to take a friendlier and slightly unexpected approach with its “Built For It” campaign, which was first launched in 2013 as a means to focus the brand’s efforts and expand the scope of customers it reaches.

This year, “Built For It” was expanded further via the digital campaign “Built For It Trials,” a series of videos designed to take more of an offensive stance against competitors, showing Caterpillar equipment taking on big jobs with precision and high performance—as well as warmth. The initial video in the series, “Stack”—which featured construction machines playing a giant game of Jenga—went viral within days, garnering more than 2.6 million views. Recent videos include the visually arresting “Lantern Festival,” featuring generators powering a remote village in China, and “Driving Range,” challenging pro golfers to hit a hole-in-one on a portable, moving green.

Historically a highly siloed organization, Caterpillar used separate taglines and strategies for each business unit, which resulted in a fragmented marketing approach. However, the ongoing campaign is enabling far more integrated and consistent communications, covering its breadth of offerings, with a focus on developing markets under a single narrative. This focus is also vital for the company’s internal culture, as it recovers from cuts and aims to both retain and attract great talent.

Within the business, Caterpillar launched a new division that will focus on data analytics to make the most of the vast amounts of data it collects through its machines and engines. By doing so, Caterpillar can add value and build stronger relationships with customers, helping them to fully utilize their assets and optimize their activities.

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