Brand Identity

Published by Marc Steele on

How  your products can sell themselves.

In these tough times, manufacturers look closely at what produces sales results. Recognized methods include: print ads, web-sites, direct mailing and conventions. Though these are all good ways, they are temporary and must be reinforced. The most important sales tool is usually overlooked – the product itself. In the very competitive performance racing industry, brand recognition is extremely important. Simple questions to ask yourself: Can your customers tell the difference between your product and your competitor’s? Does your product promote your company? Is your brand identity permanent? If you answered yes – you are the lucky few.

Logo Mark on ROund part
Logo mark on round part – by CMT hydraulic roll marking machine model 410

If you answered no, there are simple solutions. The most economical solution is to simply mark your part. Marking parts is one of the most often overlooked method of selling. You have made a great product. You have been successful in selling it. Now the customer wants more. Make sure your product tells them where to get more. Simple marks include: a logo, company name, website or phone number. While temporary paper labels and tags may be effective to label the product for the initial sale, these may be removed or destroyed during the life of the part. The most durable mark is one made directly into the part. See figure 1 – the DSA logo shows the part’s manufacturer, and figure 2 – the Moog Problem Solver company name is displayed directly on the part.

Figure 2 – Indention Marking – Press Marking

Let’s examine (4) of the most common methods best suited for the performance racing industry:

  1. Hand Stamping
  2. Dot Peen Mini CNC Marking Machines
  3. Laser Marking Systems
  4. Roll Marking, Press Marking
Figure 3 – Hand Stamps

For low volume marking applications there are three easy marking solutions. First, individual hand stamps (figure 3). These offer a quick easy answer to putting the company name and other information on your parts. These are a good solution for marking 1-5 parts per day. Second, a hand holder (figure 4) holds multiple characters and offers the ability to mark the complete name or other information at one time. This is a good solution for marking 1-100 parts per day. Brand identity is always the best with a logo and the custom hand stamp (figure 5). The hand stamping process delivers a clear mark very quickly, and ranges in price between $50.00 to $250.00.

Figure 4 – Hand Holder with interchangeable stamps

For a higher volume of part marking applications, dot-peen marking machines are a good choice. There are several models to choose from to fit your production levels and flexibility requirements, including integration and the ability to mark around the OD. The dot peen mark is well defined, and often mistaken for an engraving. These machines have a typical cost range of $3,000.00 to $19,500.00. Figure 5 shows the popular Handy Andy X, this is a great solution for part marking and brand identity.

Figure 5 – Handy Andy X dot-peen marking machine

Another option is the very powerful laser marker, which can mark any type of metal. The advantage to a laser marking system is the ability to quickly identify your parts with a one or two dimensional barcode alongside a very decorative company logo. Laser marking systems range in price from $35,000.00 to $75,000.00. Figure 5 Complete laser marking station with required safety enclosure and fume extractor.

Laser LE24
Figure 6 – Laser marking station complete with safety enclosure and fume extractor

Roll marking is the best for the fasting and deepest marking method that provide a crystal clear impression of your brand identity. Either a round die is used to mark on the flat, or as shown in Figure 7, a flat die will mark around the OD of a round part. These system range in price from $10,000 to $50,000.

Concave Die marking Round part - Close-up of mark
Concave Die marking Round part – Close-up of mark

After investing in advertising to bring in the sales, your products play the most important role in repeat business. Because of the similarity of performance race car components (Figure 8, High end race car tool), returning customers can be confused on where they originally purchased the product. By investing pennies per part and simply marking your product, you can maximize repeat business. In addition, using your products to sell themselves throughout the life cycle of the part will help maintain your brand identity.

Figure 8 – High end race car tool

About Columbia Marking Tools

Columbia Marking Tools is a leading designer and manufacturer of metal and plastic marking equipment including stamps, roll marking dies, roll marking and impact marking machines, fully programmable laser, dot-peen/scribe marking and UID/2D Square-Dot® machines, numbering heads and special marking machines. For more information, visit

Marc Steele

Marc has been in the marking business for over 15 years. He provides technical assistance through emails and online chat.