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Executive Interview

Executive Interview: John Casanova, Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Hugo Morales, International Sales Luber-finer/Champion Laboratories

In today’s AMN Executive Interview John Casanova, vice president of sales and marketing and Hugo Morales, international sales, Luber-finer/Champion Laboratories, bring us up to speed on the recent relaunch of the Luber-finer brand, the details behind the “Built To Do More” marketing campaign and what the future holds for the brand.


Amy Antenora has been reporting on the automotive aftermarket since 2002.

john casanova Hugo Morales


In August, Luber-finer announced the launch of a new brand image and marketing campaign framed around the message, “Built to do More.” Tell us what this message means for Luber-Finer customers.

Casanova: The “Built To Do More” tagline crystallizes the commitment made by Champion Laboratories and its Luber-finer brand to go the extra mile for its distributors and customers, an attitude that has been part of Champion Laboratories’ corporate DNA for more than 50 years. From the ground up, we have strategically designed our entire operation with a singular purpose in mind – to serve the needs of our customers better than anyone else. We combine the highest level of personalized customer care with world-class engineering, manufacturing and unparalleled logistics expertise to deliver high-quality filters with the highest response and fill rates in the industry. All of these attributes taken together literally make the Luber-finer brand one that has been built to do more for its customers.


And speaking of customers, what does Luber-finer’s market reach look like today? Expanding globally seems to be a goal for a significant number of North American aftermarket manufacturers today. Is this a goal for Luber-finer as well?

Morales: Yes, of course. Luber-finer is already a very strong brand in many parts of the world, and we hope to extend its leadership position into many other regions. Luber-finer has forged a great reputation as a high-quality heavy-duty filter brand, one with a proven track record of more than 70 years. We’re committed to bringing this proven heritage to markets everywhere around the globe. To that end, we are truly a global company with manufacturing and/or distribution facilities strategically located in the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, China and the United States.


What should we expect from the brand in the coming year, as a result of this new marketing campaign?

Casanova: Our new Luber-finer marketing campaign has brought an incredible jolt of energy to the brand, which builds on the standard-setting reputation the brand already possessed. Our fundamental objective with this campaign is to support the brand unlike any other to the benefit of our distributors. In addition to the new “Built To Do More” tagline, we have a progressive new logo and advertising campaign. This will be supported by a wide array of promotional and sales support materials, including new brochures, signage, banners, counter mats, door and window decals, countertop displays, apparel and point-of-sale displays.


We’re also leveraging the latest electronic marketing tools and technology. For example, in November we launched new Luber-finer social media sites on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and in December debuted the new Luber-finer website. However, the most cutting-edge electronic tool is the free Luber-finer phone app for smartphones that currently runs on the Android operating system. We’ve received a tremendous amount of positive feedback from our unique electronic presence, and there’s certainly more to come from Luber-finer in 2011. In addition, we plan to roll out new packaging in 2011 that will reflect Luber-finer’s new look and enhanced appeal.


You just mentioned Twitter, Facebook, etc. Social media has become an integral element of brand marketing today. How does Luber-finer utilize social media?

Casanova: Luber-finer has made a 100 percent commitment to the ever-evolving social media venues with the launch of its own YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn sites. These cutting-edge ways to reach out to our distributors and end-users are a key communication tool for next-generation customers. These social media sites provide us a way to comprehensively communicate with our distributors and customers, from installation videos on YouTube to question forums on Facebook to quick tips on Twitter. At Luber-finer, we’re constantly trying to provide a better and easier way for customers to connect with us…and us with them in a two-way exchange. Social media also provides our customers with one-click access to very useful tools.


How will Luber-finer follow-up on its new marketing campaign? What does the future hold for the Luber-finer brand?

Morales: As Luber-finer approaches its 75th anniversary in 2011 we feel there are many great things in store for this brand. This is a filter brand with incredible opportunities to extend its reach far beyond its traditional heavy-duty markets. Not only do we possess a time-tested, field-proven heritage for building reliable, OE-grade quality filters but we have a well deserved reputation for going the extra mile for our customers – that’s pretty powerful stuff every market segment, from automotive to heavy-duty to off road can embrace!


AAPEX 2010 wrapped up just about two months ago. What are your thoughts on the show this year? What was Luber-Finer most excited to talk about this year in Vegas?

Casanova: AAPEX this year was a tremendous show, definitely one of the best ever in our opinion. It was the perfect platform for us to personally discuss the re-launch of the Luber-finer brand with existing and prospective customers – and they were blown away. Personally, I’ve long felt that Luber-finer is the clear leader in the heavy-duty filtration market, and that sentiment was echoed in the conversations we had with our customers and channel partners. That feeling gave us the confidence necessary to successfully roll out a proven heavy-duty filter brand into the automotive market. Our channel partners know that they are teaming up with a proven and powerful brand, one that provides them with the kind of quality they can trust and the one of the widest range of filtration products around. Finally, we were most excited to talk about the present. Many companies get caught up in talking about the future of the industry or brand, but there are so many great things going on right now at Luber-finer that we were very happy to communicate everything that we are doing right now for our customers.


Recently, Champion Laboratories’ and Luber-finer’s parent company, UCI International Inc., was acquired by Rank Group. What are your thoughts on this development, and how do you see it affecting the Luber-finer brand in the future?

Casanova: This is very exciting news for Luber-finer and Champion Laboratories! The Rank Group has an enviable track record of growing businesses around the world so for Champion Laboratories, and in particular the Luber-finer brand, this means great things are going to happen. When you add this recent development to the other exciting things we’ve been doing at Luber-finer, we can only say…this is one happening brand that’s Built To Do More!



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