NBC goes ‘Back to the Future’

The unique rebranding story for the trade division of NBC Group Ltd, back to a familiar name.

Rebrands are always difficult, with customers having to trade with new names they aren’t necessarily used to. However, NBC Group Ltd are rebranding their Trade division to a name many of you might recognise:

“By changing our Trade division back to Newtown Bearings, we’re not only going back to a brand that everyone (or at least everyone over 45!) recognises, but we’re aiming to improve our offering to the Trade via a Trade focused website,” said Richard Thornton, Managing Director of NBC Group Ltd.

“We had to find a different name and when we discussed it in house, the general consensus was to go back to calling it Newtown Bearings because a lot of people still call us Newtown anyway. From a nostalgic point of view, my uncle, who was the founder of the company & sadly passed away last year, loved the idea of resurrecting the name for the Trade division.”

The updated Newtown will be a different beast to the Newtown of old. The days of a wholesaler being a one-stop shop for aftermarket dealers is long gone, with the advent of so many specialists in different areas of the traditional bearing and power transmission product range.

Under this new name, the business will continue to specialise in slewing rings & slew drives, as they’re often considered to be the ‘go-to’ company for these products.

However, the greatest strength of ‘new’ Newtown is not so very different from the ‘old’ Newtown and that is their massive stock range of hard to find products. The original Newtown was built on the sourcing of ‘surplus’ and this is still the case today.

In recent years there has been a lot of negative publicity towards ‘surplus’ from the main manufacturers who suggest that buying from a non-authorised distributor means you run the risk of receiving a counterfeit or not fit for purpose product:

“This is quite understandable as the manufacturers would much prefer to sell newly manufactured products rather than see products they had already sold being offered for resale,” commented Richard.

“Without ‘surplus’ dealers, there would be a lot of machinery standing idle, either waiting for long lead times from the manufacturers or with no prospect of obtaining the ‘no longer produced’ spare parts.”

Richard makes no secret of the fact that a lot of their stock of premium brands is sourced via sales of excess stock:

“In fact we are proud of what we do and the service we provide – when you buy a bearing from Newtown, from whichever manufacture, we stand by that product as genuine and fit for purpose.”

Where the ‘new’ Newtown should differ from the ‘old’ is on price – as the market changed they had undoubtedly gained a reputation for having great stock availability but at too high prices:

“When you are pricing the massive range of stock that we carry, it is hard to be sure that every quotation is competitive in the current market but it is not our intention to be far out on price, and if we are, then we welcome feedback to enable us to correct that.”

It’s a strange but enormously satisfying sort of rebrand for NBC’s Managing Director. For him, it’s like going back to an old friend that you haven’t seen for 25 years:

“They’ve changed their look and personality but it’s the same old friend you remember.”

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