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Palette of Departments
By Hans Mugler, Publisher
By Hans Mugler,
Halftime in the Industry
Our June issue means we are half way through this year and in the heat, literally, of the summer selling season. While not many folks I talk to in the paint and sundries industry are actually taking time off these days—because they are far busier than they have been in years—it’s a good time to take stock of what is working for you, what’s not, and what new products you are offering that your competitors aren’t or can’t.
We love to hear from companies that only offer their products to you independent store owners. Sure, it’s OK that there are manufacturers out there working both sides of the fence and offering you the same things they offer to the big boxes, but what burns me, and should be rankling you, is when manufacturers give deep discounts to the boxes to get into their stores, but don’t give you a price break on the same products no matter how hard you promote! The time has come to show these types of manufacturers that their competitors treat you better, respect you more, and want your business more than the boxes’.
One of the biggest advantages you have over the boxes is your ability to pick and choose who you want to do business with. Don’t take that right or opportunity lightly. Recently, we have been talking to a major national applicator manufacturer who refuses to spend its ad dollars promoting its wonderful products with us. (And we do love their products!) The media buyer doesn’t care for the slightly humorous tone of most our editorials, among other things, and figures the company is better off placing its eggs in our competitors’ baskets. That’s their right and their choice, but the same media buyer consistently blasts us with PR, asking us to run free editorial.
Enough was enough, so I called the president of the company to see what his thoughts were. He called me back in less than 24 hours, said this issue was now on his radar and that someone from the company would be calling me back to discuss it further. About 48 hours went by and I received a call from the VP of Marketing, the media buyer’s boss. We had a good, honest conversation. He said their plans would not be changing this year, but he will be keeping a close eye on the situation going forward. I mentioned that we are going to stop running PR about their products until they become an ad partner with us again, and he said “I don’t blame you, I’d do the exact same thing if it were me!” Sometimes you really have to drive home the point that you have something good to offer!
TPD is designed, written and sent to only you independent paint store owners who have repeatedly said you want to keep getting our publication, THANK YOU! We do it for you and only for you…and for the ad dollars that allow us to keep publishing! We will continue to show the great products available to you that can differentiate your stores from the boxes. Unlike a competing industry mag did last month—and again this month—we will not be showing you stories about a Kilz product available only at Lowe’s, a Behr product available only at Home Depot, or a new product from Sherwin-Williams that you cannot sell.
Why would we want to rub your nose in that? As the “Voice of the Independent,” that goes against our core interest in supporting you! Want to see something in our ’zine that we don’t currently cover? Let us know! Want to tell us what’s on your mind about us or the industry in general? Let us know! Want to tell me what you think about what we do here? I’m all ears, let me know! My office phone is 314-984-0800, and good or bad, I love hearing from our readers!
Thanks for reading and enjoy the second half of 2015!
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