ATD Focused on Hercules/Ironman Rebranding

March 29, 2022

The reboot of American Tire Distributors Inc.’s (ATD) Hercules and Ironman brands will include more than new logos and a new tagline for Ironman. ATD also is broadening both brands' product offerings. (The Hercules brand is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year.)

“As we look at what Hercules means in the market - and again we talk about our 70th anniversary as being the perfect time to update - our breadth and depth of product has really changed since we were acquired by ATD,” Josh Simpson, senior vice president, Hercules Tires, recently told MTD.

“We’ve expanded into a variety of new segments and have continued to broaden and strengthen our customer base. We feel - given our growth and expansion of product - it’s the right time to make those changes and tie (them) in with where we see ATD in terms of its branding.”

“There’s a lot planned for Hercules" over the course of 2022, added Nakia Medlin, director of marketing, proprietary brands, ATD.

“We’ve launched quite a few products over the last six months and are launching an additional five or six (products) into the market this year, as well. Over the past year, we did a lot of research to figure out who our target is and what dealers are looking for in a brand.”

Hercules dealers provided ATD with a wealth of feedback, according to Medlin.

“We surveyed dealers who were on our program and potential dealers, as well. Are they seeing the brands the same way we are?”

Dealers were in “strong” favor of keeping the Hercules logo. “We didn’t make a change there. But we added a new tagline and logo to the Ironman brand. We asked (dealers), ‘Where does Ironman fit in your portfolio in relation to Hercules?’

“What we want people to (think about) when they see the Hercules brand is strength, confidence and empowerment. We want to stand behind our customers like nobody else can. 

“But then when we get into the Ironman consumer and what we want people to know about Ironman, it’s peace of mind through simplicity - the right products at the right price. We had consumers look at our logos. We had them compare us to other brands in the market. We took that feedback and used it to our advantage.”

To support the brands' refresh, ATD is working on marketing collateral, as well as digital tools. 

“We know over 80% of people are researching online before they go into a retail location,” said Medlin. “And we’ll continue with the sponsorships you have seen.”

“We are trying to set Hercules and Ironman up for the next 70 years. It’s about the identity of the brand and positioning brands in the market, plus product innovation. It’s the whole package. It’s not just a new logo. We’ve put a lot of thought into how we want to come across to the end user.”