Toolmaker Looks to Rebuild Its Image

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Great Neck Saw Manufacturers will kick off its largest direct mail campaign on Monday to shift the 80-year-old toolmaker's perception among customers from a mom-and-pop operation to an industry leader.


"We're trying to show people that the image they have of Great Neck as this small, family business has evolved into something bigger," said Ed Brennan, president of Erin/Edwards Communications, Glen Head, NY, the ad agency that designed the campaign. "We want to show them that it is now a major manufacturer with major distribution channels that can provide services to both the buyer and their consumers."


Each mailing in the six-part, business-to-business campaign will target 500 senior buyers at large retail and hardware outlets, mass-merchandise buyers, and home and auto centers across the country. The names targeted in the mailing come from trade publication subscription lists and the company's house file. Each part will go out in six-week intervals.


The first three mailings stress that Great Neck Saw, Mineola, NY, "scores big with both buyers and consumers." To help illustrate that point, the main images are of buyers and consumers holding up score cards that read "10" on them, referring to their satisfaction with the company's products.


To help recipients remember Great Neck Saw, the first three drops in the campaign will include items that recipients can keep on their desks. The first mailing includes a cube that can be manipulated to display buyers and consumers holding up score cards reading "10." Images of the company's products also are displayed on the cube.


The cube will be shipped in a box that reads "And the winner is?" across the front. Included in the box is text discussing Great Neck's ability to meet the needs of both buyers and consumers. The text also stresses how buyers can increase their profits by consolidating their tool purchase practices. It provides a Web address, a toll-free number and an e-mail address for the Great Neck sales department as calls-to-action.


The second mailing will include a desk clock. Instead of the numbers 1 through 12, the face of the clock will have pictures of buyers and consumers holding up the number 10. The third mailing will have a picture frame holding pictures of three tools from Great Neck.


"They can then replace them with pictures of their families if they want," Brennan said.


After those three mailings, the focus of the campaign will shift to product-specific mailings. The first of these mailings will include a multipurpose tool, the second will include a Mitre Box saw, and the third will feature a pocket-leveling device.


The direct mail campaign will run in conjunction with a print effort that got under way in early May in the trade publications National Home Center News and DIY Retailing. The first of the four print ads will discuss the consolidation message, similar to the first three mailings. When the mailings change and become product-specific, the print ads will feature each of the products being shipped in the mail pieces.


The print and direct mail campaigns will run through the end of the year. The campaign is expected to cost $250,000 to $300,000 overall.


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