Ace: The Helpful Small Job Place
People who spend their weekends working on large home improvement projects,
such as building an extension, have plenty of places to go for their supplies.
Ace Hardware won’t turn that business down, but it wants consumers to think
of it as the convenient place to go for any advice and products they need to
complete smaller jobs around the house.
The chain is launching a new ad campaign this week intended to put it in
a different light than big box competitors such as Home Depot, Lowe’s and Menards.
The campaign’s tagline is clear about the Ace difference: "Get in. Get help.
Get on with your life."
"This is part of our re-education of the consumer that we’re not
a home improvement store," John Surane, VP, marketing for Ace, told Brandweek. "Our
core is about helpfulness and convenience."
Ace has plenty of independent corroboration for its customer service claims.
J.D. Power and Associates has ranked it "Highest in Customer Satisfaction" among
home improvement stores for three years running. Corporate Research International
(CRI) has ranked Ace first in the home improvement retail category for 13 straight
quarters based on its "Real People Ratings" consumer opinion survey.
Bell, senior partner for Lippincott, believes Ace is on mark with its new ads. "If
we think of why the economy is where it is and my home isn’t
worth what it was, why should I take on these massive home improvement projects?" he
told Brandweek. "[Ace’s message] jibes nicely with the times,
suggesting a balanced approach to life where you value time over money since
nobody has much money right now, anyway."
Discussion Questions: Will
Ace’s new ad campaign position it to grab share of supplies for small jobs
from its big box competitors? How much do you think store location factors
in the decision of where consumers shop for home improvement projects?
[Editor’s note] The Ace campaign will make use of television, radio, and
social media. The Brandweek article provided a few samples of spots
including one where an overweight homeowner pledges, "This spring, I
will not plan a yard project where I have to rent a bulldozer."