Buying a piece of expensive hardware can be a big decision, fraught with research, recommendations and questions of value and longevity.
Stihl Inc, maker of gasoline-powered, handheld, outdoor power equipment, is hoping to answer some of those questions (and ease potential customer concerns) through a new marketing program that employs satisfied Stihl customers telling their stories.
“We’ve been receiving unsolicited testimonials from our users for some time, and we’ve had such great stories, we thought this would be a good time to tell them,” Jackson D’Armond, marketing communications manager for Stihl Inc., tells Marketing Daily.
The new effort, “Real People, Stihl People,” is the company’s single largest integrated marketing campaign, featuring stories from average homeowners as well as professional users demonstrating how Stihl products have an impact on their lives. “For me, quality is crucial – in my profession as a custom furniture maker and in my choice of tools,” reads the story of David Stine of Dow, Ill. “I have customers across the country who appreciate the craft and care in my work. I need my tools to work for me and to add value to my life every day, and that’s what they do. It’s just really, really good equipment.”
The site, which is being promoted through newspaper and online advertising, encourages other users to share their own stories online and through social media using the hashtag #RealSTIHL. Some of those stories, D’Armond says, could wind up in future advertising for the brand.
“Spring is our big season, and we wanted to come out with something fresh,” D’Armond says. “We see this as a longer-term campaign, not as a one-shot deal. As we get interesting stories, we will push them out through the social networks.”