Case Study: Keystone Automotive Industries, Inc.

Keystone Automotive Industries, Inc.
Platinum Plus Branding Campaign

The Challenge
Keystone Automotive Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: KEYS) is the nation’s leading distributor exclusively dedicated to aftermarket collision replacement parts, servicing over 25,000 body shops nationwide. Since 1947, the company’s goal has been to provide its customers with a high-quality, lower-cost alternative to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) replacement parts and deliver better service. In 1999, a civil case against State Farm damaged the reputation of the automotive aftermarket collision repair industry, resulting in a disappointing bottom line for industry-leader Keystone and a general skepticism from body shops and the automobile insurance industry about the quality of Keystone’s products.

The Approach
To reposition its brand, Keystone developed the industry’s first premium product line: Platinum Plus. The approach with Platinum Plus was straightforward: Provide the customer with a high-quality product backed by a guaranteed lifetime warranty for fit, finish and quality. Once the Platinum Plus product line was successfully re-introduced, campaigns targeting body shops and insurance companies were developed to further establish Keystone’s prominence in the aftermarket industry. A public relations campaign supporting this strategy was simultaneously launched to establish relationships and build credibility with trade editors and publishers.

The Results
Since introducing the Platinum Plus line in 2001, Keystone has experienced significant improvements in sales and industry perceptions, including a renewed commitment from insurance providers to specify Platinum Plus aftermarket collision repair parts and satisfied repeat body shop customers. Additionally, Keystone’s brand has been rejuvenated, sales and communication channels have been enhanced, and employee satisfaction levels continue to rise. The Company’s annual revenue has more than tripled, keeping them on target to meet their $1 billion goal within the next few years.