CASE STUDY E-BOOK
GOOD MADE GREAT HOW A DRUCKER GROUP VOICE OF CUSTOMER STUDY OPENED THE DOOR FOR A CLIENT’S MULTI-CHANNEL DISTRIBUTION STRATEGY.
ost toilet manufacturers have pursued multichannel strategies for years and their toilets can be found in home improvement stores, hardware and even big-box retail stores, which can drive prices lower and bypass the professional plumber completely. However, Gerber has remained a very wholesale-focused company, which plumbers really love. However, not being distributed more widely in-home improvement stores resulted in lower consumer awareness for their products and lost sales opportunities. Before committing to a major marketing investment to pursue a multi-channel strategy, Gerber initiated a research study with professional plumbers to make sure that their expanded distribution strategy would not disrupt their relationship with these wholesale channel customers.
WHOLESALE LOYALTY We learned plumbers are loyal to the wholesale channel for a number of reasons. When they visit their wholesaler they are important to their business and they’re treated that way. They know if they need something delivered to a jobsite, bulk quantities of product skidded and delivered to a warehouse, or if they need the wholesaler to carry a specific item or part for them, the wholesaler will do so. They’ll have consigned inventory in their shops. They also get information and problem-solving assistance you can’t get at retail and high-quality service parts. Professional plumbers also have long standing relationships with their wholesalers, so they trust them like family, and in fact many are their friends, godparents, fishing buddies, etc.
We encountered virtually no crossover purchasing in retail channels among the professional plumbers we spoke with. Instead they emphatically said that purchasing products at retail was forbidden and an unwritten rule among professional tradesmen. You can shop there for fasteners, cleaning supplies, power tools, and other products like these, but you never are there to buy toilet fixtures, brass or their related parts at a retail outlet. Some went so far as to state they would never even install a toilet purchased at retail, because they would feel uncomfortable about its quality and couldn’t stand behind the installation if something were to go wrong with the toilet.
WHOLESALE VS. RETAIL Plumbers have even developed their own, individual approaches to explaining the differences between product bought at retail and product they buy from wholesale. Toilets at retail are most often installed by the customer, a local handyman, or one supplied through the retailer the toilet was purchased from, a market the professional plumber doesn’t want any part of. Armed with this information, Gerber marketing management could now pursue their multi-channel strategy knowing that the professional plumbing community would not be unsettled by their actions if properly informed and cared for by Gerber and the wholesale community.
HOW GOOD RESEARCH LEADS TO GOOD ADVERTISING Along with supporting its new channel
Using these findings, it was then The
marketing strategy, Drucker Group’s VOC
Drucker Group’s task to position Gerber
research also told us Gerber products are
in the marketplace as a good choice
viewed by plumbers as “good workers.”
for plumbers. And it was that word
They’re tough, easy to install and easy
“good” that became key to marketing
to service. They’re seen as middle of the
communications. While not bragging to be
road products in terms of price that work
the best, positioning Gerber as good had
well and don’t generate callbacks. Yes,
many good connotations like high quality,
there are more expensive and fancier
righteous, worthiness …
products out there, but Gerber offers a lot of the same styles and features as those
It perfectly described Gerber’s deliverables
well-known, often-nationally advertised
like good products, good flushing, good
brands. So it’s long been a solid choice
styles and good profit margins.
by plumbers for both residential and commercial installations. Also viewed
The G in good also offered memorable
very positively by plumbers is the fact
alliteration with the G in Gerber. And that
that they can usually net more profit with
led to the positioning line that would
quick rebates and pricing that allows a
solidify the ensuing advertising campaign ...
little more margin on markups.
PRINT ADS / BRASS
A N I M AT E D D I G I TA L A D / “ G O O D S E C R E T ”
V I D E O / “ S E C R E T TA L K ”
VO: “Psst! Can we talk?”
VO: “Good, because there’s something I need to tell you about us Gerbers.”
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M OT I O N G R A P H I C S / E N D - O F - V I D E O L O G O
T R AV E L I N G R O A D S H O W T H E M E
A N I M AT E D S O C I A L P O S T
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