Brand Loyalty — It’s Everywhere

It’s 7 p.m. on a Saturday night. Hardware store. A yellow cardboard sleeve is snuggled tightly around a large, black plastic case. The packaging is void of any fancy imagery, except for one lone halftone photo that tells you exactly what you are going to find when you unwrap the sleeve and pop open the case. Minimal black words small enough to go unnoticed. And six very large black letters… Gentlemen, you know what I’m talking about—D, e. W, A, L, T.


Create YOUR Brand Recognition

This is the most basic of all packaging designs, one color printing. Minimalism at its finest—Think Apple®. The branding is understated, but incredibly loud all at the same time because every time I am in a hardware store with my husband, those bright yellow boxes capture his gaze and he makes a beeline straight into Tool World. That’s it. I’ve lost him. That’s branding, folks!

And my husband is a shining example of brand loyalty. It doesn’t matter the cost or the fact that (according to me) there are a million other drills, compound miter saws and jigsaws that cost waaay less. He is loyal to a fault. I call the intricate ‘hive’ of DeWALT® tools in my garage the “Bumblebees”… We have an entire colony at my house!

This obsession is backed by the fact that DeWALT is, in fact, a top-quality product. No amount of Bob Vilas in the world can convince him otherwise. And no other brand can make him salivate like Pavlov’s dog.


Create YOUR Space on the Shelf

To gain this kind of sheer devotion you have to have a great product—which DeWALT does. You also have to make your product visible to your target audience in a sea of competition. Your product needs to stand out among all others. DeWALT does this in the most simplistic of ways. It doesn’t need to scream ‘elegance’ or ‘class’ because it is a workingman’s product. It needs to speak to them. Your product needs to do what it says it will do and do it well, without appearing too ‘stuffy’. The packaging is very industrial and it feels durable and tough. And DeWALT’s signature yellow packaging boldly differentiates them from their competition. It’s like a giant yellow flag waving you in.

The designer in me, naturally, is dying to make the packaging more colorful; give it a pretty photo; put a shiny bow on it! But the researcher in me knows better. It knows the market. It knows people like my husband, who would see a pretty, colorful box and think, “this is a product for the average-Joe.” And to that end, he would say, “this product won’t last, it’s not built to.”

He sees the casual home-improvement shoppers who purchase alternate brands and he knows that they may have gotten a ‘deal’, but “they will be back.”—perhaps in the next year, buying another shiny new tool because last years purchase has already broken down.

For him, DeWALT has consistently delivered high-quality products and that’s just what they need to do to keep him coming back. And, according to a Forbes article, that’s exactly one of the 15 things you need to do to increase and retain your loyal shoppers—be consistent in your quality.


Brand Loyalty—No Matter the Cost

Now, we are not commercial builders—we are just regular people. We tackle regular home-improvement projects, just like the ‘average-Joe’s’ referenced above. To me, it would be perfectly fine if we purchased, what I feel like is, what everyone else but me is purchasing—the cheap stuff. But the “Bumblebees” suck my husband in, and there is no turning back. Ah, the power of brand loyalty. So when I go over to the less expensive tools, my husband reminds me, “Yes dear, I know, it costs more than the others, but it will last forever.” A cheaper price usually means exactly that—cheaper.

Now I know you are thinking, “What the heck does all of this have to do food marketing and how to increase the sales of my product?” The answer is simple—the same rules that apply to market a tool to the American handyman can also be applied to selling him his favorite peanut butter or beverage of choice!


P.S. Nothing lasts “forever”, dear!

I just wish I could find a Loyalty Club for DeWalt purchasing to take the sting off the price tag!