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Advertising Campaign on
"True Temper” Tools Written for Agricultural Advertising by W. G. Pancoast, Advertising Manager American Fork & Hoe Co. \HE American Fork & Hoe Co., company had been too busy with well
a single corporation, is just known staple tools to market the others four years old, but its twelve aggressively.
factories, located in different When the American Fork & Hoe Co. sections of the United States, were run first contemplated advertising, the diffi
separate companies ranging from culty of advertising twelve distinct twelve to seventy-two years previous to brands confronted the management. their consolidation. These factories and How to advertise so many brands profitsome of their present managers, and ably, without conflict, and at an allowmany former owners and managers who able investment, was a problem. These are now officers of the American Fork brands had been on the market for & Hoe Co., are the pioneer manufactur years, and therefore were too valuable ers of forks, hoes, rakes and kindred to discard. farm and garden hand-tools.
It was determined that the then presFor years these factories have had
ent business must not be disturbed, and about all the business they could handle. a way that would fit existing conditions There seemed to prevail a spirit of satis must be found to advertise the goods. faction with a certain volume of busi These were the conditions and reness, a patriotic desire to conduct that quirements that were presented to the limited amount of business well, and a advertising department which had just pride in making excellent tools.
been installed to handle the campaign No advertising was done, unless keep that was contemplated. The plan preing a name before the public in trade sented and finally accepted by the dijournals can be termed advertising. rectors was to select a new trade-mark With the growth of population and the representing a standard of requirements subsequent increasing demand for tools in the manufacture of hand-tools, and to -with the progress of events, came the all tools manufactured by the twelve merging of the various works to meet factories that complied with these rethe demands of the times. The result quirements this trade-mark was to be ant strength from this union of ability applied in addition to their customary and forces developed greater capacity of factory labels. A trade-mark designed output and greater capability to develop 11pon a fork and hoe, and bearing the opportunities of expansion.
name "True Temper," was suggested When these heads of various factories and adopted. This would enable dealers came together, and skill associated with to supply two demands with one line of skill, one seemed to inspire the other, tools—the old demand for the brand and the effect has been to stimulate they had been selling, and the new one greater effort in every department. for the advertised brand.
In the natural course of progression, The “True Temper” standard of proit was decided to advertise for the pur duction represents the best methods pose of solidifying trade, of insuring it, known to the most experienced tool and of protecting it for all time, as well manufacturers. It endorses the brands as to increase sales on certain tools hav of tools on which it appears. ing special purpose features. These spe The Iron Age recently said regardcial tools have been but slightly known ing this new trade-mark: to tool users and retailers, because the “Rarely do we see a trade-mark in
which is combined artistic design, peculiar appropriateness, commercial value and attractiveness to such a high degree as is demonstrated by the new ‘True Temper' name and trade-mark of the American Fork & Hoe Co., Cleveland, Ohio.
“It represents the new standard of tool production recently adopted by this concern, and in accordance with which its first quality brands are now manufactured. In addition to the labels used by the various American Fork & Hoe factories, this new brand will be placed on tools which meet with the requirements of the standard it represents. It endorses the first quality brands, and stamps them as the best that are produced.
"The process by which this new trademark was devised is interesting. An appropriate name was sought in order that it might be the more easily associated with the goods it represented; an euphonious name that had an agreeable ring to it, and which the tongue could nicely handle was desired. After much study, the name “True Temper' was accepted, because it complied with those two requirements, and also expresses two highly important features of a good tool, which must be true in quality, construction and temper.
"By the observer, 'True Temperi is directly and instantly associated with steel goods, and therefore is easily remembered.
“In devising the trade-mark design, appropriateness was also of prime importance, and how well the American Fork & Hoe Co. succeeded in their efforts is plainly demonstrated by a mere glance at the illustration which accompanies this article. The fork and hoe not only herald the nature of the business and inform the observer what are the products, but in this case it suggests the name of the manufacturers.”
The American Fork & Hoe Co. sells only to jobbers, who in turn supply the
retail trade. Efforts to induce jobbers to introduce new tools of special purpose features had always met with the objection that there was no' call for them. Retailers took the same exception to handling them. It was clearly a case of advertise to the farmer and create a call for them. Accordingly, a plan of advertising reaching from the farmer to the factories of the American Fork & Hoe Co. was devised by the advertising department, presented to the directors, and accepted. It was decided to work upon every link in the selling chain :there was first the farmer, then the clerk, the retailer, the jobbers' salesmen,
he jobber, the company's salesmen, its sales department, and its factories.
To reach the farmer there was selected twenty-eight farm and garden papers, having a combined circulation that would best geographically fit the distribution of the goods in the United States, the object being to stimulate uniformly trade everywhere. These advertisements told the farmer how “True Temper” tools were made, for what work they were best adapted, and urged him to ask his dealer for "True Temper” tools. He was also requested to send for a book, "Tools and Their Uses." This book is more than a piece of advertising. It is handsomely illustrated with appropriate farming and gardening views, and with nearly all the various tools the company makes. It tells how they are made, what work each is designed for, and how the farmer can save time, labor and money by having good tools and the "right tool for the right job.” Copies are sent to farmers who write for it. A letter is enclosed which introduces the bearer to any retailer of “True Temper" tools. A return post card is also included, for the farmer to send in the name of his dealer and neighbors. When these cards come back, a book, enclosing the card of the farmer who supplied the address is sent to cach one. The idea is that this card which reads,
"Compliments of Mr. John Jones," will tools. Still another feature is a plan make those farmers talk about the book whereby he can present his customers and “True Temper” tools. This method with copies of the Tool Book, and anserves as a sort of an endless chain. A other is the booklet, “Selling Pointers" letter is also written to the dealer wliose for his clerks. name is sent in, and he is advised that At the beginning of the campaign the a number of farmers in his locality, at opportunities afforded retailers and jobleast one of which is his customer, are bers by the advertising in farm papers interested in “True Temper” tools. was placed before them in a large, atRealizing that the clerk makes about
tractive "Saturday-Evening-Post" style nine-tenths of the sales in the average of circular. The “Sales Aids” were store, there was prepared a book for his offered free and a return application inspiration and advice, entitled “Selling
postal was enclosed. Pointers." It is a brief and compre Copies of this same announcement cirhensive treatise on salesmanship and
cular were sent to about 5,000 jobbers' serves as a supplement and key to the
salesmen to post them, and to enlist book, "Tools and Their Uses," from their co-operation. which selling points concerning Forks
Letters setting forth the intentions and and Hoes may be gleaned. Many deal
plans of the American Fork & Hoe Co. ers can and do profit by this book, but
were addressed to their jobbing cusfor reasons of propriety, it is addressed
tomers. Somewhat contrary to expectato the clerk.
tions, the plans were not only well reTo continue the selling chain and af
ceived by the trade, but were commended ford the retailer an inducement and
for the enterprise shown, and in numeans to associate his store with “True
cases co-operation was volunTemper" advertising, he was supplied
tarily extended. with “Sales Aids” free. These “Sales
Everybody in the large institution was Aids” consist of attractive, five-color,
mailed copies of "True Temper” litone-sheet posters having a fac-simile
erature, and made familiar with the design of the Tool Book which goes to
plans, even down to the workmen who farmers. The design is the “De-lighted
produce the tools. This has served to Farmer" -a farmer admiring a fork and a hoe which he holds in his hands.
awaken inspiration and pride in "True (Here again the firm name is suggested
Temper” products and in the success of by the fork and hoe.) The “True Tem
the advertising campaign. per” label and the catch phrase, “the best
Circular matter is frequently mailed tools you have ever bought at the same
to both jobbers and retailers, and page prices you have always paid,” which ap
and half-page advertisements are used pear on the book cover, are also repro
in the four leading hardware trade jourduced in the poster. The posters are
nals. hung in the store windows for the pur
Although the farm and garden handpose of attracting those farmers who are tool business by virtue of its nature is acquainted with the “De-lighted Farmer" such that anything like quick results and and "True Temper.” Another feature of a rapid growth in sales is positively prethe sales aids are free electrotypes of cluded, there has been received at the eady-written advertisements for the end of four months, sufficient evidence retailer to use in his local papers to let that the plans are working admirably. people in his locality know his is the Inquiries from the farm papers are surstore to come to for “True Temper” prising in their character and number.