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Advisor to Belterra & All-State Belting on their Merger

Material Handling Solutions, Moving Forward Together

As Canada’s leading distributor of conveyor belt components and bulk material handling solutions, Belterra boasted an impressive network of more than 20 locations that spanned the country. Similarly, All-State Belting was a nationwide presence delivering material handling products across the United States through 9 strategically located facilities based in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Given Belterra’s deep-rooted success advising on material handling solutions in the Canadian market since 1969 and All-State Belting’s sizeable presence and manufacturing capabilities in the United States for more than 40 years, the merger of these organizations unlocked an opportunity for expansion and innovation to the market.

The Current Brands

Incite worked with Belterra in 2017 to support its market growth in Eastern Canada, developing a strategy that captured and articulated the company’s differentiated value, brand positioning, ideal customer profile, and go-to-market priorities. Although this strategy guided the organization for five years, the merger required a new approach to take the combined entity forward and accelerate growth.

The newly merged organization engaged Incite in July 2022 to:

  • Determine required changes in organizational and brand positioning given the expanded cross-border market and customer differences
  • Inform decision-making around company naming and potential re-branding, including identifying associated internal and external risks
  • Develop a communications strategy and implementation plan to align stakeholder perceptions and expectations around the merger and define how to introduce the new brand to the market
  • Support initial culture integration post-transaction
  • Educate and equip the extended leadership team around change management practices

Incite facilitated a discovery session in West Des Moines, Iowa, All-State Belting’s home, with the executive team that focused on future directions, goals and challenges for the combined organization. These discussions prepared Incite for research and engagement with internal and external stakeholders of the now cross-border organization.

We value the advice and expertise Incite provided during our merger. Their guidance brought our executive team together, allowing us to collectively envision the future of our organization. With their specialized skills, they developed a clear and strategic roadmap that now guides our united and purpose-driven journey. Their contributions were instrumental in charting our ongoing path to success.

Janice StasiukCEO, Viacore

Identifying the Information That Matters

Incite tackled important questions in the research phase that helped shape the organization’s strategy and brand moving forward. This exercise explored stakeholder perceptions surrounding the merger, identified key questions requiring attention, and solidified the organization’s strengthened value proposition. Stakeholder input informed the subsequent strategy development process, which synchronized efforts, effectively positioning the organization amidst its expanded capabilities and North American market focus. The strategy fostered a cohesive and impactful brand presence by aligning internal and external perceptions of the organization, bridging gaps in the stakeholder experience, and advising on optimal brand representation in the market.

The New Brand

Using the strategy as foundation, the Viacore brand was born.

Stemming from the two ideas: via and core. Via means a road, way, or direction, which ties to the organization’s material handling systems that keep goods moving effectively and efficiently down a process path or direction. Core signifies the central and often foundational or vital component of something; Viacore wants to partner with customers in a way where they see the organization as core to their business, helping drive their growth.

The visual identity focuses on the idea of growth and partnership. The icon symbolizes components and ideas coming together to create solutions while moving in a forward direction.

The Path Forward

Incite laid out an implementation plan that included key messages, communication needs and activities required to ensure an impactful launch for the Viacore brand.

Incite’s recommended activities leveraged the organization’s established and effective channels, added new approaches, included details around methodology required to deliver the communications, provided a schedule of dates and trigger events, targeted specific audiences, and assigned ownership of the communications tactics.

Project Outcomes

Incite helped deliver a unified brand to two organizations going through a merger. The process answered the following questions regarding:

  • Brand and positioning strategy: Why Viacore? Why should current customers continue to, and prospective customers choose us? What is the right strategy that leverages both Belterra’s and All-State Belting’s strengths to accelerate growth for the new entity?
  • A new brand identity: What is the future of our organization? What does it look like?
  • A communications strategy and implementation plan: How do we roll the brand out to our customers, partners and internal staff in a way that manages risk and proactively addresses needs?
  • Culture integration and change management: What culture are we striving towards as a joint entity? What matters to our team and where are the gaps? How do we ensure our team successfully navigates this change?

It was a pleasure watching the Belterra and All-State leadership teams grow together through this merger process. Focusing on cross-border differences related to repositioning, customer relationships and naming was vital for Incite to craft a successful and unified market and brand strategy for Viacore.

Dania SpillettPartner, Incite