Radiant in red: color change signals bold new era at Yanmar CE

Yanmar Compact Equipment is undergoing a shift in its approach to the market. The most visible element was the bold decision in 2020 to depart from its conventional yellow machine livery to the striking Premium Red. We talk to global director of brand development, Elsie de Nys.

Question – What has Yanmar Compact Equipment and a US DIY store have in common? 

Answer – They both offer Yanmar Premium Red – the bold new colour of the Japanese compact equipment maker. So attractive is the shade that the major US home improvement store now offers that exact shade of red as part of its colour palette. 

Yanmar Compact Equipment’s decision to embrace Premium Red as its new machine livery was not merely cosmetic. It represents a symbolic departure from tradition, a bold statement of intent to stand out in a sea of largely yellow uniformity. “It’s a very visible symbol of our new-found confidence and customer centricity,” says Elsie de Nys, global director of brand development at Yanmar CE. 

This departure from the familiar yellow livery the company has long sported was a calculated risk – but now that red machines are finding their way onto the market in large numbers it is paying dividends, capturing the attention and approval of customers, dealers and employees alike.

The confidence to lead the market

The transformation is both deeper and wider than merely a change in color scheme. It is just one part of a holistic overhaul touching every facet of the business. “Our ambition is to become both a truly global company and a leader in compact equipment,” says De Nys. “It’s more than a new coat of paint – it’s even more than having good products – we need to rethink almost every area of our business. This transformation is encompassing not only branding but also engineering, procurement – the entire value chain, in fact.”

Central to this metamorphosis is the recognition of shifting customer expectations. Yanmar CE, traditionally renowned for its product-centric approach, realized the imperative of placing the customer at the nucleus of its operations. De Nys explains: “The industry is in a period of fundamental change, both in terms of technology and business models. Unless we put the customer at the center of everything we do, we’re not going to do the right things in the market of the future. That’s why we have embarked on a journey to infuse customer-centricity into our DNA, boosting collaboration, empathy, and trust across every touchpoint. Together with our dealers we are developing the tools to provide customers with a top-notch brand experience.”

The new paint job is more than skin deep – it’s become a totem of the new Yanmar CE – and injected added self-assurance into a renowned global brand with a strong Japanese legacy “There is a new sense of pride and purpose among employees, rallying them around a common vision of customer success,” De Nys says. “Internally, people are buying into this new, braver, Yanmar CE, this new-found confidence, even resulting in a slightly more forceful approach in the marketplace. The internal buy-in is proving instrumental in fostering the cultural shift necessary for sustained growth and innovation.”

It’s all about You

Yanmar Compact Equipment’s foray into Premium Red is symbolic of a deeper philosophy, encapsulated in its straightforward tagline ‘Building With You’. De Nys explains: “It’s about more than product alone… it’s about knowing how a brand like Yanmar can help customers grow their own businesses. It underscores our commitment to forging enduring partnerships, transcending transactional relationships and delivering holistic solutions that are tailored to customer needs.”

Deeply in the red

In essence, Yanmar Compact Equipment’s brand transformation is reliant on concurrent transformations in product and culture. Together they are opening up a new era of customer-centricity and innovation in the compact equipment industry. It underscores the power of boldness, empathy, and collaboration in driving sustainable growth and building enduring relationships. As Yanmar Compact Equipment’s charts its course towards global leadership, it invites all stakeholders to join it in building a future defined by red paint – and customer success.