This document updated on 06/26/2007
Because of branding problems, we have renamed our AftermarketCat.com website and rebranded it as Diesel Rebuild Parts.
Never would I have imagined that Caterpillar, Inc. would take issue with our use of the domain name, AftermarketCat.com. It isn't that "Cat" is a common word that is used constantly and is even considered short for the word "catalog", although I suppose this may have enhanced my confusion. But where I had erred has to do with the simple fact that we never considered our business as in competition with CAT. After all, if people want original equipment parts they would obviously know to go to the original manufacturer, CAT (or Caterpillar). It is ludicrous, to me, to think that they would go anywhere else unless they are looking for aftermarket parts. Aftermarket means "not original equipment". But according to them, we are in competition with their engine parts line, and now that I have the opportunity to see the situation from their side, I certainly can see how they could think that.
It is people looking for aftermarket rebuild parts for these industrial engines that will cost less, perform better and/or last longer who will come looking for our products. So, we are not really in any sort of competition with CAT, and the argument that we are is actually quite a stretch, for me.
Unfortunately, they are right about the branding issue, though. I do see their point. CAT is a leader not only in the industrial engines market, but is also a leader in an extremely wide and expansive field that includes heavy equipment, mining equipment and turbines, as well. It actually amazes me that I was stupid enough to think of CAT as a generic term, or nickname, that we could use in describing our own brand.
Part of the problem has probably been the influence of the modern search engine. Search engines require specific keywords for any kind of decent search engine results. Since we are offering aftermarket parts for Caterpillar engines, it seemed that our domain, AftermarketCat.com, was right on the money. Afterall, we are only supporting CAT engines. And to top that off, we are supporting both the diesel and the natural gas (methane) engines. Obviously, DieselAndNaturalGasEngineParts.com wouldn't have worked. And we wanted a domain that said something about us and was somewhat short and easy to remember. Aftermarket Cat was, after all, downright catchy.
To be sure, this big snafu has been all my fault. I am the marketing director (and webmaster) for Syd's Eastside Auto Parts. I understand brands as both a graphic designer and a business owner, myself. I am amazed how I could have overlooked such a well-known brand as CAT. As I look back on it I wonder if it is Caterpillar's own overwhelming huge success that is at least contributing to the problem.
Similar tragedies in successful branding have occurred. I often ask for a Kleenex when I want a facial tissue, even though I buy Puffs. And as I see CAT more everywhere, including NASCAR, it becomes a thought at the fore front of my brain that only Caterpillar, Inc. could have accomplished through its own advertising success, thereby diluting its own brand. Nevertheless, I am not looking to provide an excuse, I am merely looking to draw some understanding out of my embarrassment.
However, we have not only acknowledged CAT's point, but we as a company, Syd's Eastside Auto Parts, have taken quick and deliberate actions to demonstrate our concern and regard for the issues at hand...
Syd's Eastside Auto Parts has:
Eventually, we will be issuing a new press release re-announcing our new website, once we are sure that we have addressed all of Caterpillar's concerns. In the meantime, please note that our new website address and the new official brand for our line of IPD engineered and manufactured quality aftermarket engine parts line and overhaul kit products intended for Caterpillar brand diesel and natural gas engine applications...Syd's Eastside Auto Parts is an authorized dealer and distributor of quality IPD premium aftermarket parts and overhaul kits for most of the Caterpillar brand engine line. If you have anything to do with maintaining CAT diesel or natural gas engines, we certainly do hope that we can be of service to you or your company in the near future.
- Moved the entire website to a different domain, DieselRebuildParts.com.
- Completely rebranded the previous website (using only generic terms) as Diesel Rebuild Parts.
- Created a new Trademark logo and favicon graphics for the new website and brand.
- Thrown-up a generic (non-branded) web page at the old web address of AftermarketCat.com which provides links to both DieselRebuildParts.com and Cat.com to ensure that we are not confusing our customers.
- Included Cat.com prominently in our web resources directory to ensure that we are not confusing our customers.
- Enhanced our website's Disclaimer page with regard to our intellecual properties and our non-affiliation with CAT.
- Included the link to the Disclaimer web page in the Main Menu (this link was previously at the end of each page, above the Copyright notice).
- Addressed issues concerning wording and phrases used that CAT felt was misleading.
Syd's Eastside Auto Parts operates the Diesel Rebuild Parts website to more directly assist individuals and companies requiring quality aftermarket parts that do not introduce risk of reliability in their equipment. Therefore, you may consider that Diesel Rebuild Parts markets, sells, distributes and supports IPD premium aftermarket parts as an extension (or division) of Syd's Eastside Auto Parts.
News Article Reference Resource Links:
Syd's Eastside Auto Parts
Diesel Rebuild Parts