Stanley Black and Decker Marketing Practices Marketing Plan

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Stanley Black & Decker: Marketing profile

Background of Stanley Black & Decker

Company history

Stanley Black & Decker is an iconic American firm. The words 'Black & Decker' immediately alert a consumer that the product he or she is purchasing is likely to be a power tool of some kind. 'Black & Decker' is a brand name with name recognition along the lines of Coca-Cola and Xerox. Both firms that make up the merged entity 'Stanley Black & Decker' are extremely old firms. Stanley was begun in 1843 when Frederick Stanley started a small shop in New Britain, Connecticut, "to manufacture bolts, hinges, and other hardware from wrought iron" and Black & Decker was begun when "in 1910, S. Duncan Black and Alonzo G. Decker began a store in Baltimore, Maryland, launching what would become the "world's first patent for a portable power tool" (History, 2010, Stanley Black & Decker). In 2010, the two companies merged to become more competitive in the home improvement and construction market (History, 2010, Stanley Black & Decker).

Product line

Industrial and power tools for residential and professional construction form the core of Stanley Black & Decker's product line. Automotive repair equipment, hydraulics, engineering fastening tools, as well as more conventional drills and handsaws are all encompassed within Stanley Black & Decker's current product line. The merger between the two companies created a more diverse, international, yet still complementary array of products.

Features of the product

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Stanley Black & Decker offers some innovative features upon its products for home use, such as electric-powered mowers and blowers. Overall, its power tool line is fairly standard in its features. There has been some criticism of the company on online review sites about some of its products. For example, its electric lawnmower, unlike similarly priced battery-propelled electric mowers like the Neuton, requires a power cord which can be easily run over and its kitchen products often compare unfavorably to companies that specialize only in food processors and choppers.

Marketing strategies

Marketing Plan on Stanley Black and Decker Marketing Practices Assignment

Stanley Black & Decker's website is extremely functional and informative. It chronicles the long histories of its various company associations. The website has a great deal of white space for easy readability but there are few photographs of the company's products. The users are all male, and many of them look professional, as they are wearing safety glasses and hardhats. They do not look like the typical 'home user,' unlike the images of individuals using the power tools on the Home Depot website, for example, which are also more diverse in terms of gender.

Competitors

Competition exists for the company in virtually all of its product lines: Cuisanart and KitchenAid rivals Stanley Black & Decker's home appliance line; Toro and Neuton are competitors in its lawn mower and outdoor tool lines. And for every home-based product line, two of the major competitors in the home improvement market are Lowes and Home Depot, who make their own lines of more affordable power tools. These tools have the brand trust and cache generated by being associated with such major retailers. Toro offers landscaping tools that may rival Stanley Black & Decker's in price and quality, and Cuisanart may offer home appliances superior to Black & Decker's at a slightly higher price range.

Stanley Black & Decker does not have a retail store like Home Depot or Lowes, and it also encompasses a wider range of product offerings than its competitors, not simply because of its professional and industrial lines, but also because of its range of home appliance offerings.

Government policies

From an industrial point-of-view, the growing emphasis upon infrastructure reform as a means of job growth is likely to prove advantageous for Stanley Black & Decker's professional lines, such as engineering unit. "About 27,800 jobs will be created for every $1 billion in federal highway construction spending under the stimulus package, said chief Department of Transportation economist Jack Wells" and these jobs will demand equipment of the type produced by Black & Decker's industrial departments (Patterson 2009). However, while stimulus spending was supposed to be a core part of the stimulus package, overall "stimulus spending on infrastructure projects is moving slowly" and the funding that was originally deemed needed for infrastructure reform has been diverted to aid to the states and other needed federal programs (Conkey & Radnofsky 2009). If Republicans gain control of Congress, the demand to balance the budget may further contract investment in infrastructure and incentives such as tax credits for homebuyers and appliance purchases.

Major problems

The downturn in the home market could prove problematic for Stanley Black & Decker's success. Fewer homes are being built, given that so many unsold properties exist, particularly in the Southwest and other areas hard-hit by the housing boom and bust. Also, if fewer people are buying homes, the home-based power tools may begin to be sold in fewer numbers, as people make do with what they have, postpone home repairs, or move to less expensive accommodations.

Achievements

Stanley Black & Decker's durability, first as two separate companies, and then as one must be commended. Additionally, in a corporate world where mergers seldom endure, the company's ability to seamlessly and effectively transition into a unified organization should be praised. "It might have seemed a somewhat curious time to double down on an exposure to the housing and home-repair market, but the early returns have been promising," said one industry analyst (O'Brien 2010) While admittedly skeptical at first, "the second-quarter results included $30 million in immediate cost savings, nicely putting the newly combined company on course to realize its projected $90 million in savings for the first year" (O'Brien 2010).

Share market position

"The stock has hardly budged since the deal closed in March. Nevertheless, analysts say a share-price bulge is coming, with projections that the stock -- now trading at about $56 a share -- could have a 35% return in the next 12 months" (O'Brien 2010). From a marketing perspective, share market position is important, given that investors are more likely to fuel their dollars into a company that seems to have potential for growth, and money is necessary to fund marketing efforts to promote the organization.

National and international image

Nationally and internationally, Stanley Black & Decker is seen as a quintessentially 'American' company. Nationally, it has a reputation for being functional and staid, with few 'bells and whistles' or innovations. However, Stanley Black & Decker does manufacture electric mowers and other home and garden tools that do respond to the call for more environmentally-friendly products. Promoting this aspect of the company, as well as creating a more human image for the product lines targeted to the consumer, rather than simply resting upon the laurels of the past is essential. The company must stress innovation more in its positioning, rather than simply its traditional quality, to show that it is an organization for the future, particularly since after the merger, it is no longer the 'old' Black & Decker.

Future prospects

Future prospects seem bright for Stanley Black & Decker. "When you look at the combined company, there are a lot of natural synergies, from a sourcing standpoint, from a distribution standpoint and from a customer standpoint… Strategically, the old Stanley Works had addressed the decline in the housing and do-it-yourself repairs market by emphasizing its other business lines, which include home security and industrial applications. The Black & Decker merger refocused the combined company's efforts on the tools and do-it-yourself business" (O'Brien 2010). Although this segment of the economy has been hard-hit, it is still often necessary even for non-homeowners to buy power tools.

The four Ps of marketing

Product

Stanley Black & Decker is one of the leading manufactures of tools and other home improvement products. It also has a worldwide presence in automotive, engineering and industrial tools on the commercial market. It is reasonably, although not extremely well-diversified.

Price

The company's tools are moderately priced, neither at the lowest or highest ends of the marketplace, and have a reputation for quality and reliability. They are in the same price range as products offered by Toro, Home Depot, and other products available through retail sales. However, the availability of the Internet means that consumers who wish to purchase more expensive, commercial-grade power tools and appliances can do so more easily than the past and can more easily search out budget items.

Place

Stanley Black & Decker power tools are available online, and also in most major hardware stores, including the 'big box' stores such as Home Depot and Lowes. Its products are easily accessible for consumers wishing to make use of them in minor and major home renovations and repairs. Its professional products are available direct from the manufacturing units associated with making the product such as EMHART, FACOM and MAC (Industrial, 2010, Official Website).

Promotion

To home users, Stanley Black & Decker promotes itself as a time-tested American company, with a historic reputation for quality and affordability. To its industrial and international clients, Stanley… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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