Berenson Isham Creates Segmented Marketing Program for WearGuard

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WearGuard Inc., Norwell, MA, has tapped Berenson Isham & Partners to help it better segment its mailings in the increasingly competitive workplace uniform industry.

WearGuard Inc. is an industry leader in the workplace uniforms industry, which has in the past few years been entered by a range of catalogers, such as L.L. Bean, Lands' End and Eddie Bauer.

Berenson Isham will work with the company to find ways in which it can "mail smarter," said Paul Berenson, chairman and executive creative director.

"We practice what we call measured marketing, where we study marketing plans and find the sweet spot," Berenson said. "WearGuard has always been in tune with industries that are more likely to buy their products. We will help them take a more segmented approach."

For example, in an industry like the automotive industry, which is strong for uniform sales, the agency may look at the size of shops and decide that small one-, two- or three-person shops are more informal in nature and not as likely to want uniforms for their employees as larger shops. Therefore, they might not be as worthwhile to target.

Other segments of the industry, such as auto body repair, might be more likely to rent uniforms from a uniform rental company because the work is so dirty that it's not worthwhile to buy new customized uniforms that are quickly soiled, Berenson said.

By contrast, he noted that valets and auto dealerships also are places where it might be important to have a uniform look.

"We may determine the automotive industry is strong, but it could be covered more economically and efficiently," he said.

In addition to working with WearGuard to segment industries by category, the agency is working with the company to test different incentives. For example, an offer in which people who purchase $500 of merchandise receive $100 off is being tested against an offer in which people who buy $400 of merchandise get an extra $100 free.

While both offers are essentially 20 percent discounts on $500 of merchandise, the company and agency will study which offer has a stronger appeal.

Berenson, Isham also has encouraged the WearGuard to try using its telemarketing unit for outbound calls to prospects who have received the catalog. Previously, the telemarketing unit has handled incoming calls and outbound calls to existing customers.

Despite these changes in marketing and mailing strategy, the circulation numbers aren't changing. A piece of the control group has been used to test new segmenting and special offers, Berenson said. And, a successful segmenting program would not necessarily cause the company to mail more, it would cause the company to mail smarter, he said.

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