The power of brand development to open new revenue channels
How do you focus your efforts when you have the ability to produce almost anything? We’ve helped Suncast transition from being sales-driven to customer-driven to consumer-driven, and in the process open up significant new revenue opportunities. Learn about how evolving the Suncast brand has grown the business in unprecedented ways.
Suncast, founded in 1982, is a leading U.S. manufacturer of high-quality, durable resin storage products for home and yard. Key categories include hose reels, sheds, deck boxes and snow tools, but if it can be molded out of quality plastic, Suncast can make it.
With an original focus on its superior manufacturing capabilities, Suncast had chased sales opportunities everywhere they could be found. In recent years, management had successfully transitioned to a greater focus on customers (e.g., big home improvement stores such as Home Depot and Lowes), often creating unique products for those channels to be sold in many cases under the store brand. As such, brand awareness among consumers, even those who actually owned Suncast products, was extremely low. This limited brand recognition combined with weak positioning and fragmented, inconsistent messaging led to very little brand loyalty and to competing in an increasingly commoditized space. In addition, the desire to do everything necessary to please customer stores led to operational challenges such as excessive inventory that was difficult to move.
How could Suncast develop its own brand to build awareness and brand equity with its consumer base? How could it better influence the brand experience across all touch points? And could this brand development open revenue opportunities that were not previously possible for the business?
HOW WE PARTNERED TOGETHER
An extensive research phase (both quantitative and qualitative across a variety of categories) generated significant insights including a deep understanding of the consumer decision-making process and the role of inspiration, planning and enjoyment by consumer segment and category. Clarifying purchase drivers, key benefits, consistent brand attributes and brand values allowed Suncast management to align on a core positioning for the company and to turn attention to how to create the right experiences for consumers at every touch point.
In close collaboration with Suncast management, Bailey began to methodically address every interaction with the brand and create new opportunities for the business:
- Development of clear brand positioning and guiding principles provided a consistent lens through which to evaluate business opportunities and decide whether they truly fit within the brand. A new brand look and feel provided a cleaner and more relevant way to present the brand to consumers.
- A full marketing plan, including audience definition, content development, geo-targeting and ongoing implementation, enables Suncast to reach consumers in new ways, from online retail destinations to relevant product placement. Bailey was able to also build and grow a Suncast community of loyal users through social media and a consumer panel that is interacted with monthly for ongoing research and engagement.
- We helped open new channels and revenue streams through clarity of brand positioning:
- Increased consumer awareness created new possibilities for cross-selling a wider range of Suncast products
- Consumer engagement opened opportunities for more targeted promotional activity, including seasonally relevant communication
- Online awareness and engagement allowed for the creation of new, owned online retail outlets to sell discontinued or overstocked merchandise
Solving an inventory dilemma through e-commerce
Many millions of dollars worth of excess inventory led Suncast management to seriously consider significant capital investment in additional warehousing. Instead, Bailey developed a new online outlet channel to transform a capital drain into a new revenue stream.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT
In the four years since the relationship started, brand awareness increased from 3% to a massive 40%. Figures also indicate 93% of purchasers are likely to purchase a Suncast product again. Suncast digital destinations are gaining ever-increasing traffic, and sales of Suncast products are significantly (in many cases by 2 to 1) outpacing category growth. Suncast also has been able to broaden its retailer customer base, including major traction online through amazon.com and others.
More importantly, the opportunities for the business have rapidly grown. Bailey is in the process of helping to develop additional owned distribution channels as well as new brands for the business outside of the primary Suncast brand to better address related opportunities that do not fit within the core Suncast positioning.