We are old enough to remember when "industrial advertising" was something of a pejorative in advertising circles. It was considered dull, low status, and not nearly so glamorous as, say, cigarette campaigns. But Ripley-Woodbury has never been the kind of agency that shied away from factories and machinery. To the contrary, we've embraced the business of industry. We've also produced some highly effective communications because we never bought into the notion that so-called "industrial" advertising has to be dull. If you think industrial products and services can benefit from well-thought-out strategies, memorable graphics and clear, concise copy, maybe we should talk. Because we feel the same way.
Generally, rubber hose is a commodity. It's bought by purchasing agents, and the primary purchase consideration is the cost per foot. This is a system that favors huge suppliers such as Gates or Goodyear, who have the volume and market share to operate with minimal margins. It makes it very hard for smaller competitors who compete on a regional or niche basis in different market segments. Titan Industries is one of these. A manufacturer who concentrates on specialty applications such as those in the chemical and food processing industries, offering a superior product at a premium price. Titan relied on a network of manufacturer's representatives to "push" the product in the market, and although they had a fairly consistent market share, they lacked any sort of memorable image in the mind of the customer. We recommended an advertising, direct mail and PR program designed to build the brand name of their product by promoting it to the end user rather than solely to the reps as they had always done. Advertising focused on performance benefits of the product, and offered "The Hose Handbook" which subtly explained Titan's advantages in the context of a tutorial on buying hose. An ancillary theme developed in advertising and PR was a "Factory Certified" concept in which hoses are tested above their rated pressures for use in critical applications.