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RIE Coatings, Inc.

Founded in 1987, RIE Coatings has quickly become an industry leader capable of coating metal items of nearly every shape and size for corrosion resistance and lubrication control. Today the Eden Valley-based company has nearly 700 different coating solutions for more than 250 clients in a variety of industries including agriculture, defense, aerospace, and industrial.   

In the midst of the recession, RIE Coatings set out on ambitious goals to increase the number of customers in its target marketplace by 25 percent and increase sales in those markets by 15 percent. The company had very strong sales relationships but needed to reevaluate its place in the market and how it was communicating its value proposition. RIE needed to focus on the proper market segments and reposition itself to develop strong and sustainable business growth.   

After identifying a need to plan for future growth, RIE Coatings called Enterprise Minnesota for assistance. Enterprise Minnesota and RIE worked on a plan that repositioned the company in its market place and elevated its connection with customers. Together with Enterprise Minnesota , RIE created a marketing strategy that focused on the company’s relationship with customers, and a product that was distinct from competitors for its environmental sustainability. With the new marketing strategy in hand, RIE redefined its value proposition, and re-branded the entire business, including a new logo and slogan: “Better Performance. Better For the Environment.” As a part of this strategy, RIE joined a preferred vendors list and also launched a new website that emphasized its new messages about sustainability as a competitive advantage.

Following its marketing strategy implementation, RIE Coatings far exceeded its initial goal of increasing the number of customers in its target marketplace by 25 percent and increasing sales in those markets by 15 percent. In total the project helped the company increase the number of customers in its target marketplace by 57 percent in the first two years with a sales increase of 30 percent. This led RIE to expand to a new satellite facility in Iowa and a 15 to 20 percent increase in staff. The company is also planning a new satellite facility in Wisconsin which will be an investment over $1 million and require the hiring of six to ten additional employees. 


“RIE Coatings could be a case study in how a company can define a value proposition, and then create and implement a plan. It’s gone very well for us.”

Chuck Rau – President
RIE Coatings
Eden Valley, MN