You can be sure that you’re not alone. The power and hand tool market in the U.S. is worth about $9 billion, according to the Freedonia Group, and will continue to grow due to the growing do-it-yourself scene that is linked to the globe’s current economic struggles.
Stanley Hand Tools, which became a division of Black & Decker last year when B&D merged with Stanley Works, is one of the major players in that marketplace. Through its digital offerings, it sells itself as both innovative and supportive.
The most noticeable thing about the Stanley website is the overwhelming amount of yellow and black backgrounds that cover the main page. Stanley’s logo, of course, is bright yellow with black letter. After you’ve visited the site, you won’t soon forget that.
The other dominating feature on the home page is a large central image of three innovative tools with brief explanations of what they do: The 3-in-1 tripod LED flashlight looks very tempting to get on jobs where you need both hands and you’re working in a dark area. But, before you know it, the image is replaced with a “premium plane.”
The overriding idea that is continually communicated on the site is that Stanley is innovative and supportive. These large product images showcase the former while the white box to the right of those images on the front page works more toward the latter idea. The box is entitled “Most Popular” and has a success of links to tape rules, knives, hammers, screwdrivers, levels, laser tools, and plenty more. Providing this handy list allows consumers to easily get directly to what they want or need.
Scrolling lazily across the bottom of the screen are the new and innovative products from Stanley, such things as the Xtreme Instant Change Handsaw System, which has “easy blade changes in a matter of seconds.” Or a 16” level that lights up to make seeing what you’re doing easier. Each innovative item has its own page with an image and copy that’s got to be right out of the catalog. For example, here’s what is said about the 16 oz. curve claw graphite hammer:
Innovation and technology are clearly important for Stanley. And why not? Henry Stanley got the whole shebang started back in 1857 and since then the company has invented the utility knife, Bailey plane, and PowerLock tape measure, among seemingly a billion other things.
- Patented 70% larger strike face improves striking accuracy
- Forged oversize steel head for a bigger sweet spot
- Rim tempered reduces indices of chipping and spalling
And so on.
The two themes are again highlighted on the navigation bar along the left side of the site. The top link is for “New Products” while the second is “Customer Support,” which leads to a very straightforward collection of helpful links as well as access to live chat with a customer-support rep. Downloadable catalogs and brochures also help consumers with issues on specific products.
Stanley uses video very effectively. Mark Bennett from MyFixItUpLife.com, hosts a series of simple yet somehow compelling videos that show off Stanley’s products and all of the neat little built-in tricks. Bennett’s everyman delivery makes any rehab job seem accessible to any schmo with a hammer.
The support idea is reinforced again with two links in the center of the page: Solutions and Support. Solutions has tool-use tips, such as to never weld a hammer. Support goes to the area mentioned above that also features the live-chat option. The Support area also features conversion charts (fractional inches to millimeters, anyone?
Another example of how innovation is being promoted heavily by Stanley is seen on the bottom left of the home page; That valuable real estate is devoted to large Twitter and Facebook logos that link through to the company’s social-media pages in case you need more immediate tool news than the Website can give you.