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Snap-on Tools

In: Business and Management

Submitted By tifcox
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INTRODUCTION TO MARKETING (MKT333)
Case Study #5

Snap-on Tools began its business in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1918. The original business sold an interchangeable socket wrench set directly to auto mechanics. Snap-on Wrench was incorporated in 1920. They intended to grow the business in a typical fashion by offering its wrenches in an indirect marketing channel through distributors. The distributors, at that time, were less than impressed with the product and Snap-on had difficulty getting its product into the hands of end-users.

The founders developed a selling strategy that presented the tools directly to the mechanics with a demonstration and opportunity for the mechanics to try out the product. By 1927 the transition to direct selling-- “from factory-to-warehouse-to-you”—was completed. Although in the past 80 years the sales force dynamics have changed, the basic commitment to direct selling has remained the cornerstone of the Snap-on marketing strategy.

In 1939, the Teamsters Union attempted to organize the branch sales force. In direct response, Snap-on introduced a new distribution method by selling territories to individual sales representatives (dealers) and having them carry product inventory in their vehicles for immediate delivery to the customer. The final step in the marketing evolution was establishing each independent dealer as a franchised owner carrying a rolling stock of Snap-on small hand tools. In an effort to increase volume, Snap-on started a program (that still exists today) of selling to mechanics on credit with weekly time payments. The company backs this credit program as it proved to increase sales and generated customer loyalty.

Snap-on’s growth since 1960 has been impressive. Despite rapid growth Snap-on has not wavered from its core marketing strategy. The company’s basic purpose has remained unchanged – “the...

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