life of a lubricant: from concept to completion – the commercialization of new lubricants

Introducing a new lubricant into a competitive global market requires major marketing and training investment, as Chevron’s Baskaran Balakrishnan explains.

A new marine lubricant is the result of several years of investment, extensive research and product validation under real-world conditions.

After the development and testing phases, the new lubricant enters the important phase of product commercialization and marketing. This phase includes marketing strategy development, which ensures the new lubricant is suitably launched with communications that highlight its features and benefits to vessel operators worldwide.


Many internal and external stakeholders are involved in the commercialization phase, working to support it with their skills and expertise.

Some of the key activities include setting up manufacturing and quality control procedures, addressing chemical registration requirements of various countries, developing product and safety data sheets, and confirming safe storage and handling guidelines.

We also need to work with our suppliers and external agencies, including government organizations, to ensure compliance with the respective in-country regulations for marketing and distribution of our new product worldwide. With the introduction of the new product, consultations with end customers are included in the commercialization phase, designed to understand their needs, and meet their challenges.

These activities can take up to six months in addition to the multi-year product development and testing of a new lubricant, though some of these activities can be carried out in parallel during the development and testing phases.

Life of a Lubricant: From concept to completion – the commercialization of new lubricants Life of a Lubricant: From concept to completion – the commercialization of new lubricants

Chevron’s marketing team supports the communication of product features, benefits and value propositions to the shipping industry and lubricant customers, using various marketing communication channels, such as websites, email marketing and social media. Chevron marine engine lubricants are marketed under the Chevron®, Delo® and Texaco® brands with the product family names of TARO®, Veritas® and HDAX®.

It is vital to market each product’s recommended application and value proposition so that the end user knows exactly how and where the lubricant can be used and what its capabilities are.

One of the major advantages of Chevron is that its marine lubricants are available at more than 700 ports globally, including second- and third-tier locations, so customers can access our products easily, when and where they need them.

At Chevron, we work alongside external agencies with marketing and advertising expertise in the commercialization of new lubricants. Trade shows, conferences and customer presentations provide excellent platforms to introduce new products along with high quality marketing materials tailored to specific audiences. Trade media is another important channel, providing opportunities to promote new products and services, both on and offline.

The use of translators for the marketing materials created for new products is also vital, especially as the lubricants are sold in many countries.

However, it is important to remember that a successful marketing launch depends, to a significant extent, upon training various internal teams to ensure they have a clear understanding of the new product’s features and benefits and its value propositions so that they can convey those messages to the targeted external audiences.

Chevron invests in training its internal customer facing teams to ensure that customer service remains at the heart of the company’s operations.