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Advertising Campaign on
"True Temper" Tools Written for Agricultural Advertising by W. G. Pancoast. Advertising Manager American Fork & Hoe Co. THE American Fork & Hoe Co., company had been too busy with well as 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 diffias 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 upon 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 knowning 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 require ments 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 Temper' 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, the 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 each one. The idea is that this card which reads, “Compliments of Mr. John Jones,” will make those farmers talk about the book and “True Temper” tools. This method serves as a sort of an endless chain. A letter is also written to the dealer whose name is sent in, and he is advised that a number of farmers in his locality, at least one of which is his customer, are interested in “True Temper” tools.
Realizing that the clerk makes about nine-tenths of the sales in the average store, there was prepared a book for his inspiration and advice, entitled “Selling Pointers." It is a brief and comprehensive treatise on salesmanship and serves as a supplement and key to the book, "Tools and Their Uses," from which selling points concerning Forks and Hoes may be gleaned. Many dealers can and do profit by this book, but for reasons of propriety, it is addressed to the clerk.
To continue the selling chain and afford the retailer an inducement and means to associate his store with “True Temper” advertising, he was supplied with “Sales Aids" free. These “Sales Aids" consist of attractive, five-color, one-sheet posters having a fac-simile design of the Tool Book which goes to farmers. The design is the “De-lighted Farmer”-a farmer admiring a fork and a hoe which he holds in his hands. (Here again the firm name is suggested by the fork and hoe.) The “True Temper" label and the catch phrase, "the best tools you have ever bought at the same prices you have always paid,” which appear on the book cover, are also reproduced in the poster. The posters are hung in the store windows for the purpose of attracting those farmers who are acquainted with the “De-lighted Farmer” and “True Temper." Another feature of the sales aids are free electrotypes of ready-written advertisements for the retailer to use in his local papers to let people in his locality know his is the store to come to for “True Temper"
tools. Still another feature is a plan whereby he can present his customers with copies of the Tool Book, and another is the booklet, "Selling Pointers" for his clerks.
At the beginning of the campaign the opportunities afforded retailers and jobbers by the advertising in farm papers was placed before them in a large, attractive “Saturday-Evening-Post" style of circular. The “Sales Aids" were offered free and a return application postal was enclosed.
Copies of this same announcement circular were sent to about 5,000 jobbers' salesmen to post them, and to enlist their co-operation.
Letters setting forth the intentions and plans of the American Fork & Hoe Co. were addressed to their jobbing customers. Somewhat contrary to expectations, the plans were not only well received by the trade, but were commended for the enterprise shown, and in numerous cases co-operation was voluntarily extended.
Everybody in the large institution was mailed copies of “True Temper” literature, and made familiar with the plans, even down to the workmen who produce the tools. This has served to awaken inspiration and pride in "True Temper” products and in the success of the advertising campaign.
Circular matter is frequently mailed to both jobbers and retailers, and page and half-page advertisements are used in the four leading hardware trade journals.
Although the farm and garden handtool business by virtue of its nature is such that anything like quick results and a rapid growth in sales is positively precluded, there has been received at the end of four months, sufficient evidence that the plans are working admirably. Inquiries from the farm papers are surprising in their character and number.