Komatsu 401(k) Participation Campaign

  • Client: Komatsu, a large, global manufacturer of construction and mining equipment
  • Awards: Two 1st Place Awards, Pension and Investments magazine; Best of Show, PSCA Signature Awards; 1st Place, Comprehensive Campaign, PSCA Signature Award; 1st Place, Participation Campaign, PSCA Signature Award; 1st Place, Language Diversity, PSCA Signature Award; Platinum Winner, MarCom Creative Awards
  • The challenge: After years of lackluster participation in the Komatsu 401(k) plan, Komatsu instituted two plan design enhancements to increase participation: 1) an increased company match and 2) immediate vesting. Blue was hired to communicate these changes and motivate and encourage employees to enroll in the plan.
  • The approach: Blue created a multilayered communications strategy in English and Spanish incorporating electronic, print and face-to-face meeting materials. We encouraged HR reps to become involved by offering a prize to the location with the highest percentage of first-time participants in the plan. The campaign concept “What do you want to build?“— as well as the design and packaging were inspired by Komatsu’s business — construction and building. The enrollment brochure was created to resemble architectural drawings and was mailed to employees in long, cardboard tubes. The packaging and materials captured employees’ imagination and attention.
  • Media elements: Postcards, brochures, stationery system and more. The brochure was printed on a vintage paper that melded perfectly with the rich history of the entertainment company.
  • Result: The campaign was a knock-out success. Plan participation increased 17% among the overall population and 50% among the Hispanic employee group. Average contribution rates increased from 4.9% to 5.6% (an added benefit not outlined in our original objectives).