Everyone loves an underdog story, especially when it’s got a big bite. With Komatsu’s forklifts too often overshadowed by the heavy equipment division, humanizing the two forklift brands created simplicity and powerful stories.


Sometimes you think you can define a product by what it does. Most of the time it’s better to address who has to do it.

While Komatsu forklifts share the same engineering DNA as the heavy equipment Komatsu excels in, it was time to show how tough these little guys really are. And how comfortable.


Appeal to the “everyman” and their respect for strength, intelligence and some welcomed couch comfort.

Since Komatsu’s parent company manufactures both Komatsu and Tusk forklifts, we delved into the characteristics of the operators who ultimately would be in the driver’s seat. Smart, tough and designed with cabins that deliver greater comfort and visibility, each brand was given a relevant and yet relatable personality to ‘brother’ archetypes.


Distinctly different brand positions delivered the quick “get-it” familiarity needed to facilitate the buying decision.

With two archetypes the motivation or driving force guiding the creative messaging, the brands enjoyed the value of an immediate emotional understanding supported by the hardcore benefits. Komatsu and Tusk were differentiated from the competition – and from each other. This new clarity gave a voice that shaped the stories others began to tell.