Historic exhibition charts Caterpillar’s transformation into an iconic brand
Ever heard of the Caterpillar Visitors Center? If not, don’t be alarmed – even today, the museum-like attraction is probably somewhat of a niche market. However, the market it attracts is the company’s staple customers: the people who bought a Caterpillar three decades ago, and who will buy another one when it breaks. These people represent something unusual for an agricultural machinery maker: brand ambassadors. And Caterpillar has an incredible amount of them.
Caterpillar’s share price has risen by 16% so far this year
SOURCE: Yahoo Finance
One of the latest attractions is the first machine to roll off the production line as an official piece of Caterpillar Tractor Co. equipment. Matt Veerkamp, the Caterpillar enthusiast who owns the machine and loaned it to the Center, told reporters:
“What you see here is the first Caterpillar made by Caterpillar. We’ve grown our collection to 125 pieces at home, and what you see here is the cream of the crop. These pieces are really hard to come by, so what you see is very rare.”
Veerkamp’s comment makes it abundantly clear how loved the brand is. And that’s more than a novelty – this kind of passion is what keeps agricultural workers coming back to the brand again and again. It is, in short, a fundamental part of the company’s business model: why buy a tractor when you can have a Caterpillar instead?
Echoing these sentiments, Caterpillar’s vice president with responsibility for earthmoving equipment, Karl Weiss, said of the exhibit: “It never ceases to amaze me the strength of our brand, and our brand was built with machines like this.”
Dominion holds Caterpillar in its Global Trends Managed Fund.
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