When Cadet began making electric heaters 58 years ago, all our sales were to electrical distributors. Those distributors sold to contractors who usually were working for a builder or developer. Our sales guys did the coffee and doughnut sales routine with the same trade partners. All our product literature was printed in engineering lingo and shipped in plain brown boxes. We had no consumer marketing because the people who actually used our heaters on a daily basis weren’t a part of the buying process; they simply got what the professionals offered.
Well, guess what? The world and the customers changed.
The first shift occurred when big-box retail began offering electrical products on the shelf direct to end users.
Anyone could now easily buy our heaters. Home remodel and improvement TV shows started to rise in popularity, which created the DIY’er who did his or her own home improvement projects. The people in the orange aprons became their advisers.
Cadet needed to quickly develop a consumer marketing strategy, rethink our literature and create new point of purchase information and consumer packaging, all focused on selling to the person actually using our heaters on a daily basis.
But looking back, that was all child’s play compared to what is happening now.