The automotive aftermarket pioneer is refreshing the nearly 100-year-old brand through strategic organizational moves

ATLANTA, Feb. 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — NAPA AUTO PARTS is reigniting its iconic brand through strategic alliances with new agency partners and transforming its internal marketing team with marketing disruptors from several Fortune 500 companies. These new players will place a priority on the modern and emerging demands of consumers, further differentiating NAPA in the highly competitive auto care and auto repair industry.



Strategic promotions and hires include Jamie Walton, executive vice president, chief merchandising officer, an automotive aftermarket veteran who previously led merchandise and strategic marketing for Genuine Parts Company (GPC) Asia Pacific until February 2021, and Marti Walsh, vice president, marketing, who joined NAPA in late 2020 after a nearly 20-year tenure at The Coca-Cola Company. After a competitive RFP process, agencies The Variable, Merkle and Golin will join forces to round out NAPA’s external partner team.

“NAPA has kept people on the road in communities worldwide for the last 100 years, and we plan to do that for the next century,” says Walton. “We are arriving at the dawn of an entirely new era for our industry and this collective team brings the excitement, energy and passion required to drive value and shared values with customers, retailers, investors and the business community.”

One of the new marketing team’s first steps was to launch competitive RFPs in October 2021, challenging potential partners for breakthrough thinking ahead of 2022 activity. Following that process, NAPA selected the three new agencies to work in tandem and bring their brand into the future.

  • The Variable, a Winston-Salem, N.C.-based company that combines advertising and innovation to help overcome indifference, as agency of record for brand strategy, creative, content and social. The Variable will leverage an integrated team of strategists, creatives, social specialists and community builders to help NAPA discover and develop a new and ambitious approach to both near- and long-term business growth. The Variable’s first focus has been collaborating with NAPA to craft a bold brand strategy to guide the organization’s future, and its first integrated creative campaign for the brand is expected to launch in the third quarter.

  • Merkle, a global, data-driven customer experience management (CXM) company, based in Columbia, MD, has been appointed NAPA’s CRM agency to lead customer marketing and enhance the existing loyalty work for NAPA Rewards. Merkle will help NAPA build a personalized and innovative CRM program to meet NAPA customers where they are – adding value across the customer journey via a CRM strategic roadmap, creative, analytics and execution across owned channels.

  • Golin, a global public relations agency part of Interpublic Group Inc., with headquarters in Chicago, was selected as NAPA’s first-ever PR agency. Driving earned media and engagement, thought leadership and influencer strategy, Golin will take its nearly 70-year experience of modernizing legacy brands to help NAPA boldly transition into the future. The agency will do this with a focus on fostering deeper audience connections through cultural relevancy and engagement. The Golin team supporting the NAPA work will include subject matter experts across strategy, creative, earned media, digital and corporate communications. Golin will also partner with Genuine Parts Company (GPC), the parent company of NAPA, to drive the corporate brand’s communication strategy forward.

NAPA’s newly established brand marketing team has already begun working with its new agency partners to develop and bring to market a bold new brand positioning that leverages the brand’s iconic legacy while paving a new and ambitious road for the future.

“The winning combination of NAPA’s in-house marketing team, The Variable, Merkle and Golin will strategically lead us into the future and ensure our industry legacy will endure for the century ahead,” adds Walsh.

NAPA, a member of the Genuine Parts Company’s Automotive Parts Group, a leading distribution system with nearly 6,000 NAPA AUTO PARTS stores in the U.S. supported by a nationwide network of distribution centers and more than 560,000 available parts, accessories and supplies. The NAPA network extends to more than 17,000 NAPA AutoCare and AutoCare Collision Centers across the U.S. With a reputation for quality parts, rapid availability and knowledgeable people, NAPA AUTO PARTS serves automotive service professionals, do-it-yourselfers and everyday drivers with quality parts, accessories and supplies to keep cars, trucks and equipment performing safely and efficiently. For more information, visit

About Genuine Parts Company
Founded in 1928, Genuine Parts Company is a global service organization engaged in the distribution of automotive and industrial replacement parts. The Company’s Automotive Parts Group distributes automotive replacement parts in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australasia, France, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and Belgium. The Company’s Industrial Parts Group distributes industrial replacement parts in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Australasia. In total, the Company serves its global customers from an extensive network of more than 10,000 locations in 15 countries. Genuine Parts Company had 2020 revenues of $16.5 billion. Further information is available at

About The Variable
Headquartered in Winston-Salem, N.C., The Variable combines an advertising agency that drives growth for today with an innovation consultancy that designs growth for tomorrow. Through an integrated offering that includes strategy, design, product innovation, advertising, social, community building, and more, The Variable helps globally-recognized brands including Electrolux, Scotts, Char-Broil, NAPA, BASF, Nestlé, P&G and others accelerate business transformation in the relentless fight against consumer indifference. In addition to the impact made on the overall business of The Variable’s clients, the agency’s unique combination of creativity and innovation has garnered kind praise and impressive awards from leading publications. The Variable has been an Ad Age Small Agency of the Year three times since 2015; Was named one of Adweek’s Fastest Growing Agencies in 2021; Earned a spot on Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators in both 2020 and 2021, and was selected by Forbes as one of America’s Best Startup Employers in 2021. For more information on The Variable, visit

About Merkle
Merkle is a leading data-driven customer experience management (CXM) company that specializes in the delivery of unique, personalized customer experiences across platforms and devices. For more than 30 years, Fortune 1000 companies and leading nonprofit organizations have partnered with Merkle to maximize the value of their customer portfolios. The company’s heritage in data, technology, and analytics forms the foundation for its unmatched skills in understanding consumer insights that drive hyper-personalized marketing strategies. Its combined strengths in performance media, customer experience, customer relationship management, loyalty, and enterprise marketing technology drive improved marketing results and competitive advantage. With more than 14,000 employees, Merkle is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, with 50+ additional offices throughout the Americas, EMEA, and APAC. Merkle is a dentsu company. For more information, contact Merkle at 1-877-9-Merkle or visit

About Golin
Golin is a global public relations agency that helps companies create change that matters. Together, we discover powerful human truths that bind us, create with bravery and collaborate inclusively and obsessively. Golin’s 1,700 global employees operate across 50+ offices worldwide, allowing us to provide our clients with comprehensive solutions for multi-market, regional and global communications programs. Golin was named PRWeek’s 2021, 2020 and 2019 Global Agency of the Year, AMEC’s 2021, 2020 and 2019 Communications Research + Measurement Team of the Year, PRovoke Media’s 2021 North America Large Agency of the Year, a 2021 Chicago Tribune Top Workplace and is the first-ever PR agency to be credited with “ideation,” when the firm took home Gold and Silver Lions at the 2019 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

Media Contact:
Marissa Driscoll
[email protected]



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