A well-known and beloved product the world over, marketers at Velcro Consumer and Industrial Products groups faced 4 ongoing challenges – regardless of product line or markets.
The Velcro legacy is a great Brand story — Swiss inventor Georges de Mestral discovers natural ‘hooks’ in the cockleburs caught in his dog’s coat. Today dozens of companies make hook & loop fasteners — but there’s only one Velcro™ brand.
• To create understanding that Velcro™ is a registered brand, and not a generic. As ‘guardians of the Brand’ (as their in-house counsel called us), we developed, and zealously protected brand and communication standards.
• That it’s a technology-driven product line; that there are hundreds of different Velcro™ brand hook + loop combinations, each engineered with a specific purpose.
• With so many often innocuous uses, it required focus on very specific applications to drive sales and;
• It’s not a destination product: people generally don’t make a special trip to Home Depot just to buy Velcro™ fasteners alone.
During our 17 years as the agency for Velcro USA Inc., we were charged with 1000s of projects marketing speciality (OEM) fasteners + consumer products over dozens of product lines and markets.
The Velcro companies historically do not manufacture healthcare products – they partner with OEMs to create ingenious and utilitarian products. ThomasBoston created a group logo and tagline (Ingenuity by Alliance™), and an infographic depicting the partner development process
• Medical device and wellness (OEM)
• Personal care and hygiene (seniors + infants)
• Aerospace, automotive, military markets – high technology hook (HTH™), heat + fire retardant, FAA, MIL-SPEC
• Textile and needle trades
• OEM Merchandising, Point Of Purchase, trade show, and display
Consumer Products Group
This was was one of the company’s first entries into manufacturing and distributing a finished good beyond its cut pieces, straps, and rolls. Kids and parents loved them! We’ve heard more of these fabulous and magical toys are on their way!
• Retail DIY, hardware, crafts, toys, education, package goods, home goods, health + beauty, automotive aftermarket. Dozens of new product/new category launches and extensions
• Product line consolidation program for VELCRO® brand Consumer Products unified branding, multilingual packaging (blister, clamshell, box, flexo) and merchandising/POP; also many re-staging programs (approx. every 4 yrs.); executed over 500 package designs
Today the Velcro companies remain solidly the leader in most all of its categories. We worked with them through 4 major management changes over 17 years, when the UK majority shareholder bought back all public shares (about 40% of its shares had been traded on the NYSE at one point).
We do not know current sales of this now private company, but we do know we made money when we sold back our Velcro holdings.
ThomasBoston also launched the start-up Brand of FASTENation, one of Velcro USA Inc.’s most successful preferred partner fabricators and distributors.