Update: STIHL Inc. names new branch manager for its Pacific branch
STIHL Inc., maker of lawn and construction tools, has appointed Casey McGrath as branch manager for Pacific STIHL, the Visalia, Calif.-based branch of the company, according to Lawn and Landscape Magazine
McGrath comes to the Virginia Beach, Va.-based company with more than 15 years of industry experience, including past stints with the outdoor power tool company. Most recently, he served as vice president of marketing for Bryan Equipment Sales, a STIHL product distributor.
He also worked with Bryan Equipment Sales at the beginning of his career as a territory manager. Then, McGrath served at STIHL as a product manager before transferring back to Bryan Equipment Sales as its northern sales manager.
In his new role at STIHL, McGrath will direct the development of marketing and advertising for the Pacific branch’s territory, which includes California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii and Guam.
He also will manage the branch’s sales, distribution and service of products, parts and accessories.
Founded in 1974, STIHL produces hand-held outdoor power equipment for homeowners and professional users, which are sold through servicing power equipment retailers nationwide. The company’s product line includes chainsaws, trimmers, earth augers and blowers.
STIHL is a subsidiary of Waiblingen, Germany-based Andreas STIHL AG & Co. KG, one of the world’s leading chainsaw manufacturers.
In an interview with WinmoEdge, McGrath and Promotional Communications Manager Roger Phelps, talked about expanding STIHL’s brand awareness in the Pacific area, as well as nationwide.
At the national level, STIHL utilizes a wide range of marketing strategies to reach its target audiences.
Phelps said the company uses print advertising in national publications like “The Wall Street Journal,” and “USA Today,” and in large dailies like “The New York Times” and the “Chicago Tribune.”
He added that STIHL also advertises on television primarily through networks, such as ESPN, Fox Sports and HGTV.
“Targeted consumer marketing takes place within vertical outlets (like) gardening enthusiasts and men’s magazines and cable network shows,” he said. “Distributors and branches, like Pacific STIHL, manage the retail advertising in their local markets, which is designed to promote the products but also provides secondary support of brand messaging.”
McGrath said the Pacific branch will work to increase its exposure by continuing to make STIHL products available through quality servicing dealers and by supporting STIHL’s brand messaging in local and regional marketing efforts.
STIHL has also recognized the importance of social media in its marketing initiatives and is looking to grow its presence in that medium, especially considering the company’s passionate following.
“We recognize that social media is becoming increasingly important in engaging and building those relationships,” Phelps said. “We consider it an important element of our overall marketing plan and have been engaged in this area for a while now with our sports property the STIHL Timbersports Series (a series of lumberjack style wood chopping competitions) and are presently expanding our presence for the overall STIHL brand.”
With its marketing efforts, STIHL can reach a broad scope including any consumer “who is looking for quality, professional performance equipment that is sold and serviced by local dealers,” and more specific targets based on the product line and model being featured.
“For example, electric products or those with the Easy2Start feature are certainly appealing to many female customers,” Phelps said. “At the same time, professional landscapers are looking for equipment like our backpack blowers and string trimmers that deliver the performance they need while meeting the environmental challenges they face.”
McGrath said that STIHL’s goal within the B-to-B marketplace is reaching all qualified servicing dealers that fit in with the company’s distribution strategy through “both trade and consumer publications.”
McGrath added that there are opportunities to reach a broader consumer audience “and we will work with our dealers to capture this audience.”
STIHL currently works with several agencies to help with its marketing efforts, including Boston-based Winsper for its print marketing initiatives, and Montoursville, Pa.-based Gregory Welteroth for its advertising and media buying and planning.
The Nielsen Company reported that STIHL Inc. spent $17 million on advertising in 2009. About $9.4 million was spent on local newspaper ads, about $3.5 million was spent on national newspaper ads and about $1.9 million was spent on spot television ads.
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