Prysmian Cable & Systems is off and running with its plans to create a new presence in the market. But the company said it faces one big hurdle: Divorcing itself from the Pirelli brand name.
“Our feeling is to drive home the new name as much as possible,” says Richard Thomas, marketing director, Prysmian Telecom Cables & Systems (www.prysmian.com). “We want to make a short, sharp effort and create the Prysmian brand on the market as quickly as possible.”
Pirelli Cables & Systems, which was formerly owned by The Pirelli Group (www.pirelli.com), was renamed as Prysmian Cables & Systems last fall. The move was made following Pirelli Cables & Systems’ acquisition by Goldman Sachs Capital Partners (www.gs.com) last July. Thomas says The Pirelli Group sold off the cable portion of its business after deciding that it would not sell the cable business to a competitor, but as a going concern to an interested party.
Today, Prysmian makes optical fiber, copper cable and connectivity, and fiber-to-the home components. The company will continue to operate and develop its business in the two core cable sectors of telecom and energy. It will maintain Pirelli’s existing product portfolio, which covers the full range of energy cable products, from very high voltage cable for submarine and terrestrial installation to industrial applications that include oil and gas production, mining, shipping and railways. The telecom portfolio features a full range of optical cables and fibers together with conventional copper and xDSL cable products.
Creating an awareness of the Prysmian name in the market, however, is proving to be a challenge. “It [Pirelli] is a powerful brand, and customers won’t recognize Prysmian yet,” says Thomas. To get the Prysmian name out there, the company is advertising aggressively in trade journals and newspapers. Company representatives had cut back on conference and trade show travel since 2001, but now, they are increasing their attendance at conferences.
“It’s not simply trying to get people used to a new name,” says Thomas. “Pirelli is a global brand, and our challenge now is to get Prysmian well known.”
The company is still using existing Pirelli brochures, but while Prysmian retained the right to use the Pirelli brand name for two years, it does not intend to use the brand name on new materials.
“We want to drop the Pirelli part as soon as possible,” says Thomas.