If you happen to follow her on LinkedIn, Instagram or any other social media platform, you will quickly notice that Alex Parker makes great branding look easy. Parker serves as chief marketing officer and executive vice president of Orange, California-based Redline Detection LLC, maker of the world’s best-selling leak-detection sensor. Just as this issue went to press, Redline received the exciting news that the company was chosen as the winner of SEMA’s 2020 Manufacturer of the Year Award.
While it may sometimes seem like the magic of generating great brand buzz – particularly on social media – is a dark art, Parker says for her, it’s all about being real.
“I am an introvert at heart. It’s not in my nature to be out front and talking, but here’s the thing, being an ambassador for our brand is maybe one of the most important things I do,” says Parker. “What I’ve discovered over time is that speaking in my authentic voice and just sharing what’s going on with our company is probably the most powerful thing we can do. When we talk about branding, we’re really talking about what’s important to our customers and then trying to deliver that. And that takes all the pressure off, right?”
Parker says there are a couple essentials for her when it comes to being a great brand ambassador: honesty and transparency.
“In messaging, honesty is No. 1. People are smart and intuitive, and if you are honest and authentic, just sharing your enthusiasm for your brand, then they sense that integrity and they respond to it. They connect to that,” she says. “The second thing I would say that has been essential for Redline is we’re at a moment in time when people want to know who makes the things that they use every day. People want to know what’s behind the products that they use and hold in their hands every day. So, being transparent about that, sharing the story behind the company and the products matters.”
Being a home-grown business full of passionate employees is a big part of the company’s brand story, she says. The passion that is seen throughout the organization comes through in the work.
“We’re right here in Orange, California, and it’s two buildings full of these goofy, wacky individuals who are really passionate and intense about what they do and they bring their expertise and their passion to make something of value,” Parker said. “If someone is smart and professionally curious, that’s a huge one for us. We really hire for that cultural fit for integrity, for that intellectual curiosity, wanting to learn and grow and for a team orientation. We don’t just talk about team and throw that word around. I’ve never seen a group of people who pulled together in this way. I’m one of the owners in the company. I’m also the CMO and you could easily walk by and see me unloading a truck at a trade show. It’s just the culture – every single person in the building just pulls together to get it done on every level.”
While the company’s well-defined culture has led to exponential success since the Parker’s took over the business roughly 12 years ago, Parker says they are careful to keep that scrappy, startup culture.
“We started out as a tiny little regional manufacturer. We now sell our products in 132 countries around the world. Our customers are companies like Bosch and General Motors and Nissan and domestically Matco Tools, Mac and Cornwell. I think you have to be mindful about keeping that startup culture as you grow.
“We are an example of what innovation and grit can do when it comes together,” she says. “We’ve gone from this tiny business to being a global manufacturer, largely because of the quality and integrity that are throughout the building. We really do everything that we can to help our customers. And that comes from having a culture of thinking about not just what’s in it for us. It’s what’s in it for our customer. What does their customer care about? That informs everything that we do. We look at things through the lens of what the customer cares about.”