American Standard

Raising the Standard – repositioning perceptions of the American Standard brand

Highlights

43+

million

media impressions in one year

62%

increased share of voice

in 8 months

5.8%

engagement rate

on social media

The Situation

As an established brand with product in market for over 150 years, American Standard had created a name for itself by producing high-quality toilets for residential and commercial spaces. The problem? Their reputation as a “toilet company” overshadowed any advances in product offering, design and innovation, which for many years included a full suite of bathroom – as well as kitchen – fixtures. With next-to-no media coverage, modest paid advertising and zero social presence, the American Standard name was headed down the drain, giving competitors the upper hand.

MAVERICK was tasked with rebranding and repositioning American Standard as a forward-thinking, design savvy brand with heavy emphasis on their faucet collections. Ultimately, they wanted to be THE go-to brand for consumers when shopping for a full suite of bathroom fixtures.

After many years of minimal marketing activity, the demographic most familiar with the brand was skewed far into retirement and not as likely to take on new renovation projects. MAVERICK determined the need to appeal to a younger audience, who were focused on making style conscious upgrades to their home, whether a quick fix DIY faucet replacement or redesigning an entire bathroom. A robust PR and social media strategy were developed to reach this new target, by building brand presence in key places where they spend their time.

Social Media

American Standard needed to establish a two-way conversation with a younger target by developing a social media presence. MAVERICK created a Facebook and Twitter page, developing content to position the brand as an innovative, design-driven provider of bathroom fixtures, while educating about unique value offerings. American Standard hosted contests, participated in chats, engaged with their community and other influential pages, and consistently posted engaging content, images and videos.

Results:

American Standard gained over 10K Facebook fans within the year, with over 5K Likes, 135K reach and 10K interactions. On average, the page had a 5.8% engagement rate (3.8% more than the industry average). Within the first three months of launching Facebook, American Standard hosted a Holiday Giftaway contest, resulting in a 500% increase in organic reach and nearly 10K entries – 10x more than the initial goal.

MAVERICK continued to run contests through American Standard’s social pages in 2015, with one of the most successful being the #FillintheLyric contest created to launch the LYRIC showerhead speaker. The contest generated great excitement, with nearly 1,000 entries from 6 posts and an overall engagement rate of 15%.

Media Relations

Bloggers / Influencers:

American Standard’s relevance spans across a range of interests, from the DIY-er, to the design-savvy mom, to the innovation-obsessed tech junkie. By carefully craftiMng product stories catered to individual bloggers, MAVERICK was able to breathe the American Standard brand name into online communities outside of the traditional ‘design’ realm.

Results:

By casting a wide net of blogger and influencer collaborations, American Standard expanded their audience base by reaching consumers in online communities they may never have connected with, had the vision be siloed. American Standard was able generate further awareness of the brand and their modernized designs, highlighting functionality and innovation through multiple blogger and media partnerships.

Examples:

Speed Connect Blogger Program – Bloggers posted about their experience with the easy to install Speed Connect faucet. American Standard secured 16 bloggers, generating over 4 million impressions in 2015.

Partnerships – American Standard partnered with various design bloggers and design-focused media, sponsoring renovation projects by providing product. Partners included Christine Dovey for Style at Home, Melissa Davis, and Making it in the Mountains.

Print Media:

To revive the American Standard name in traditional media, MAVERICK pitched innovative stories about feature products to influential editors, with creative themes specific to seasons and upcoming special issues. This built a strong roster of media partners, renaming American Standard as the go-to brand for major home, design and trade outlets.

Results:

American Standard generated over 43 million media impressions in 45 outlets, including House & Home, Style at Home, Azure, Contracting Canada and Award Magazine, within one year.

Broadcast

American Standard had become a sponsor for several design and renovation TV shows, providing full suites of product and receiving little in return. MAVERICK saw this as an opportunity to increase ROI and for the first time, initiated a negotiation process prior to any sponsorship agreement, ensuring maximum coverage of the brand was received.

Results:

MAVERICK created social media opportunities for American Standard, specific to each show. Tactics ranged from before and after photos, mentions, Twitter chats and Q&A’s with the show designer. This initiative greatly increased American Standard’s brand presence in social communities not reached before through the online communities of show’s including Income Property, Property Brothers, and Leave It To Bryan.