A Category With Little To No Brand Loyalty –Despite that huge market potential, there’s little to no brand loyalty among facilities managers. As the market becomes even more fragmented, customers are increasingly turning to multiple providers, not a single partner. In their eyes, suppliers have become interchangeable vendors that don’t offer additional value or understand their business deeply.
Our Challenge: Build Long-term Relationships – Grainger challenged us to establish deeper, more meaningful relationships with facilities managers in order to promote long-term partnerships, not just short-term individual transactions.
Our Target: The Doers and the Fixers – In the words of Grainger, our targets “are the ones who get it done.” These facilities managers are the doers and the fixers. They take personal responsibility and don’t leave the building until the job is done. They are practical, self-reliant, and work across a number of industries.
Our specific objectives were:
1. Increase sales and demonstrate immediate ROI.
- KPI: Compare sales in markets exposed to the campaign vs. those that were unexposed.
- KPI: Beat last year's return on advertising spending (ROAS) of 4.6 to 1.
To do this, we had to...
2. Shift brand perception of Grainger from a parts supplier to a value-added partner.
- KPI: Brand tracking surveys.
We would accomplish this by...
3. Driving higher levels of engagement with facilities and maintenance professionals.
- KPI: Industry and client benchmarks for click-through rates, video viewership, and time spent on Grainger.com.
Grainger turned to their agency to help them understand their targets more deeply. We conducted extensive research, including focus groups and in-home/in-office interviews, to better understand what facilities managers actually needed from a supplier and how they wanted suppliers to communicate with them. From that research, the agency built a campaign around the insight that facilities managers believe deeply in “In ME I trust.” They divide the world into those who get it and those who don’t. We learned that they had an inherent skepticism and were most likely to trust someone that they viewed as similar to themselves. In short, we discovered that our target needed someone just like himself or herself on the job. Someone who understood their needs deeply and supported them every step of the way. As such, we saw an opportunity to shift the perception of Grainger from that of just another parts-supplier to the target’s right-hand man.
The Idea: Grainger believes that everyone needs a right-hand man who puts the success of the project first.
We built a campaign that demonstrated in our tone, phrasing, casting, wardrobe, media placements, and even speech cadence that Grainger doesn’t just get the customer, but we are them. We created the “Guy,” a fictional Grainger customer and the quintessential doer. We see him tackling the myriad of challenges that arise at his facility—identifying and repairing a problem on the manufacturing floor, ensuring his facility has the best safety equipment, and even keeping the toilet paper well-stocked. Using gritty humor, he speaks in second-person to a new employee in each spot, explaining to the “newbie” that Grainger understands their needs and is the best resource for their facility.
We learned that our targets lived in a “blended world.” Their role of fixer and doer wasn’t just a professional one; it carried over into their home and personal lives, too, and even into their media choices. Similarly, we found that unlike some industries, Grainger’s target was accepting of “work” messages outside of industry-specific channels, where Grainger and its competitors had traditionally communicated. The most important of those blended world channels: radio. We found that the target dramatically over indexes on FM and streaming radio listenership, making radio a critical component of our media plan. Based on these insights, we brought the Guy to the FM dial and also looked for innovative ways to activate him on streaming radio properties, including Pandora. Instead of focusing exclusively on industry channel communications, we took advantage of the target’s receptivity to messaging outside of his or her professional life. We ran TV in key local markets, distributed video and ran engaging display and mobile advertising on digital properties we learned were of most importance to the target: Yahoo! Sports, news websites, YouTube, and Yahoo! email, as well as targeted video distribution through BrightRoll.
Additionally, we updated the visual identity to better demonstrate the breadth of products and reinforce the convenience of one stop shopping. We created "the G," a new logo mark up in which Grainger's signature capital "G" was physically created from various product offerings. The new identity was expressed in OOH and Airport locations, trade print, branch collateral and signage, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter. We also created a real life physical G and mounted it in the heart of the Chicago office.