Tradespeople are a tight-knit group – that’s why STANLEY tools recently launched a partnership with Reevoo to ask professional tool users around the world about their products and how they use them.

Our strategy is focused very much on believable marketing. - STANLEY EANZ Senior Brand Manager, Jamie Fenton -

The project allows potential customers to have access to informed opinions from real tool users across Europe and Australasia. They can sort the reviews by trade type where appropriate, and can even ask tool owners specific questions about the products they’re looking to buy.

The partnership has been a success according to STANLEY’s Senior Brand Manager for Europe, Australia and New Zealand, Jamie Fenton.

We currently have average scores of 9.0 out of 10, which is a very strong statement about the quality of our products, and something we can all be proud of.

Jamie told us more about how STANLEY tools’ marketing campaigns have evolved, how the brand’s customers are changing and how advocacy has helped shape brand strategy in varied ways.

Tell us about yourself.

I’m the brand lead within the central marketing function based in our head office in Slough. I’ve been working for Stanley Black & Decker since graduating back in 2005, but have done various roles during my 11 years’ service.

Today I’m responsible for the STANLEY brand across the Europe, Australia and New Zealand regions. That’s around 30 individual countries.

Much of my time is spent supporting our new product launches but I’m also responsible for brand strategy, including initiatives such as advocacy.

Can you tell us a bit about the structure of your marketing, digital, social media and customer care teams? How do they work together?

We’re generally a pretty lean operation but we do have cross-brand specialists in each of the main areas – including someone who leads digital, social media and customer service across the Stanley Black & Decker brand portfolios.

What led you to decide reviews from tradesmen would be useful for your marketing strategy?

STANLEY is a brand targeted at the professional tradesperson. Our strategy is focused very much on believable marketing. At STANLEY we know that professional tool users the world over have more respect for each other’s opinions than anything we might say.

It’s important that we now reach out to a younger audience, an audience that is more digitally savvy and better connected than ever before. - STANLEY EANZ Senior Brand Manager, Jamie Fenton -

That’s why we ask people who use our tools in the real world everyday for their honest and impartial ratings and reviews.

How easy (or difficult) was it to introduce potential reviewers to Reevoo and explain what we stand for?

Pretty easy. The most important factor was that they see Reevoo as an independent third-party that gives our advocacy the impartiality it needs. We introduced the concept using a ‘ratings and reviews’ campaign page so that our end users could find out more about it .

You promoted the initiative internally; why did you decide it was important to share the Reevoo concept (and the reviews) with the internal network?

Advocacy is still a relatively new concept here at STANLEY and we’ve invested heavily to make it happen. It’s all too easy for those not directly involved to see the Reevoo concept at face value i.e. as just ‘ratings and reviews’ but I wanted to show there’s much more to it than this.

This includes showing how ratings and reviews can help with SEO, how it can help reduce returns by utilising the ‘ask an owner’ facility, how product managers can use feedback to help with market research, how customer service can use it to engage with end users and so on.

Has customer advocacy grown in importance when it comes to marketing STANLEY products?

Yes, naturally. When investing a significant amount of budget in an initiative like this, it’s important that we drive the concept from the centre so that it is embraced by all parts of the business and right across our regions from France to New Zealand. Advocacy is now fairly central to our marketing strategy.

How do you think your customers’ concerns and behaviour (around both your products and your marketing) have changed in recent years?

The STANLEY customer has changed significantly in recent years. It’s important that we now reach out to a younger audience, an audience that is more digitally savvy and better connected than ever before, so our marketing tactics have had to evolve too.

We’re definitely seeing more of a shift towards digital.

How do you plan on using what you’ve learned in future communications and campaigns?

Our focus right now is on expanding review coverage. We have a fairly wide and varied product portfolio with hundreds (if not thousands) of individual SKUs. Our primary mission right now is to grow the number of SKUs with review content.

Our takeaways:

Ratings and reviews can do so much more:

1. They can help with SEO.

2. Q&A engines such as our ‘ask an owner’ facility can help reduce returns.

3. They can help product managers collect feedback to help with market research.

4. They can be used by customer service to engage with end users.

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Targeting the professional tradesperson