Snap-On’s Future in a Data-Driven Market

By: Stacy Hannemann

Last week’s AMA event brought us Snap-On Tools’ Vice President of Marketing, Yvette Morrison.

Yvette swiftly guided the audience through the importance and vitality of data-driven strategy and the integration of end user research into Snap-On’s marketing initiatives. Lightburn’s own digital marketing analyst, Clay Patterson, lends us insight into his take on the event.

Lightburn: What was the main focus of the talk?

Clay Patterson: Yvette talked about Snap-On’s historical reluctance to collect and use data to their advantage. She faced an uphill battle trying to convince them why these numbers would be integral to increased sales and success.

LB: Why was there resistance?

CP: They were hesitant to fix something that wasn’t broken. Snap-On has created the standard amongst tool brands simply by creating and maintaining a first-class product. They pride themselves on relationship-based selling and “Made In America” quality. They believe(d) money is made in person-to-person sales and other “old school” methods as opposed to advanced data and analytics.

LB: Where has Yvette taken them that they weren’t before?

CP: Through techniques like market research and focus groups, she’s gained insight into who’s buying, who wants to buy, when, how often and which products. This information was especially useful when Snap-On began targeting younger age groups (20–25 years old).

LB: What makes the younger age group so intriguing?

CP: Snap-On knows they have the highest price points in this industry; they don’t shy away from that. They target this young market at an early age before they’re even able to afford their products. By positioning themselves among this age group, Snap-On found healthy dividends for years to come.

They offer things like student discounts, sponsored literature and even a clothing line. Yvette called it the “Harley Effect”. You might not be able to buy a Harley yet, but you can wear a Harley jacket. These young mechanics may not be able to buy Snap-On tools quite yet, but being welcomed into a reputable “family” from the start breeds future loyalists.

LB: Courting them early?

CP: Exactly. They used this collected data to create a full circle back to relationship-based selling. It’s clever.

LB: Were there any other campaigns you liked?

CP: Coming from a digital agency, I thought it was really interesting how prominent their catalog still is. I think with how digitally we live, it’s a stark reminder that paper can still captivate. Yvette mentioned they “would never get rid of the catalog” which is understandable as their research shows healthy sales and repetitive buying.

LB: Overall, do you think it was an insightful event?

CP: Absolutely. It can be eye-opening to learn about tactics that other people in this industry are using. Especially from companies so different from ours. It’s valuable for me to see data-driven results on larger scales. There’s a lot of usefulness in real life case studies.

Yvette continues to push Snap-On to explore new avenues and progressive solutions by utilizing data and analytics. Her lofty initiatives and seemingly radical moves might be exactly what Snap-On needs to step into the future.

Takeaways for Our Clients

  • Lightburn collects, uses and shares quantifiable and qualifiable data on a daily basis.
  • Lightburn commits to translating this data into tangible results by implementing fluid designs, sustaining logical website infrastructures and executing well-rounded projects.
  • Lightburn is always learning new techniques and strives to stay at the forefront of what this industry has to offer.
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