Showing posts with label Craftsman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Craftsman. Show all posts

Monday, July 21, 2014

Some store brands work out, other's don't

Sears Roebuck had store brands Craftsman (tools) and Diehard (batteries).  They achieved fame and fortune.  Professional mechanics would use Craftsman wrenches, and Diehard commanded a premium price.  Then Sears had Kenmore appliances(respected but considered cheap) and J.C. Higgins (sporting goods)  considered a joke by sportsmen,  and Silvertone, (consumer electronics) considered cheap.  Heathkit had more class than Silvertone.   
   Branding is marketing pure and simple.  Somehow the Sears organization was able to market Craftsman and Diehard and failed to market J.C. Higgins and Silvertone.  With Craftsman, the unlimited guarantee had a lot to do with brand acceptance.  "You break it, bring it back and we will replace it, no questions asked."  added to a line of tools that was nearly impossible to break, and well finished was helpful.  Diehard prospered from some really effective TV ads, and a reputation for starting cars at 40 below.   I don't remember any effective marketing for the not so successful Sears house brands.
   Then of course, Sears gave up on house brand appliances back in the 1980's and started selling national brands.  Which put them in head to head competition with the discount houses like Lechmere Sales and Kmart.  Wanna bet Sears margin on house brand Kenmore was better than the margin on say RCA Whirlpool?
  Of course this is all ancient history, going back to when Sears was a power to be reckoned with, before Walmart swept all before it.