It is that time of year. Grass is greening and growing, flowers are blooming and Fiskars, a global supplier of home and garden products, is on the road to show off its pruners, loppers and hedge shears.
The “Discover the Difference” tour, in partnership with experiential and event marketing agency Pro Motion, runs through June and will make more than 50 stops in 19 cities. The tour features hands-on demonstration stations and engages consumers in garden tool challenges and crafting “make-and-take” projects. More than 50,000 visitors to the mobile unit will receive the brands iconic orange-handled scissors and garden tools.
“Using the right tool can help turn a daunting chore into a proud accomplishment,” says Maggie Younggren, Fiskars director of marketing communications. “We want tour visitors to try a variety of tools including Fiskars PowerGear pruners, to realize the difference the right tool can make.”
An Air Stream travel trailer is decked out to be a moving billboard, a backdrop for the display and a stockroom to store equipment and work as an office for the team.
At the dedicated website, a map shows the tour’s route traveling from the launch destination in Houston, TX, on March 26, northeast up to Atlanta before it rolls across the mid-section of the country to Las Vegas then east up to its final destination in Hudson, OH, June 15. Along the way it makes stops in New Orleans, Birmingham, AL, Albuquerque, NM, Oklahoma City and other cities at retailers like Walmart, Ace Hardware and Home Depot, large flower shows and farmer’s markets where people are in the mood to talk gardening. In general, the tour has been engaging on average 100 to 150 people on a daily basis.
At the site, the two tour managers, Jason and Kelly Law, are featured prominently so visitors can get to know them before the tour reaches their city. The husband and wife team are avid gardeners themselves so they make a nice match for Fiskars. The two spent one week training with Fiskars’ sales, marketing and engineering teams and one week with Pro Motion.
“They really are an extension of Fiskars and can answer just about any question people would want about the products when people are in the right frame of mind to engage us,” Steve Randazzo, Pro Motion president, says. “They are genuinely interested in gardening and lawn care and the reason why the results have been so good.”
Also at the site are tabs to view Fiskars’ line of tools and equipment for gardening, crafts, sewing and quilting, kids activities, inspiration ideas and projects. Links to Fiskars’ social channels—YouTube, Facebook, Twitter—direct users to a sweepstakes for the chance to win some of the PowerGear tools showcased on the tour.
Measurable metrics, of course, play a key role in the ROI of the event, but they come in a variety of forms.
At the end of the day at each stop, the tour managers begin to crunch the numbers using a custom portal to gather weather conditions, number of premiums distributed, testimonials, photos, retailer reaction and attendance. Those stats are overlaid with hard metrics like sales and the redemption of short-term coupons distributed at non-retailer locations. People who visit a retailer event and make a purchase get a free T-shirt, another metric to determine successful locations.
In addition to sales, brand building is a top goal and is measured three ways. First, video is gathered, sent to the Fiskars’ team to edit and then pushed out on Fiskars’ social sites with viral share tracked. Visitor’s who participate in the videos with testimonials or simply candid footage receive branded premiums like collapsible water bottles and stickers.
“This was a big deal for Fiskars. They wanted to authenticate that Ah Ha moment where consumers experienced the difference between their product and the competitors,” Randazzo says.
Second, visitors are encouraged to use on-site iPads to go to Fiskars’ Facebook page, like it and talk about their experience at the event. They can also go to Fiskars.com to get discounts and free shipping.
“Social media is the foundation of this program to build Fiskars brand because everyone knows them for scissors,” he says. “Once people get introduced to this brand, especially people who spend a lot of time on their yards, they become customers and really get involved in the brand.”
Retail employees also become an important part of Fiskars brand building efforts. Retailers will bring employees out to the event site to see and participate in the demonstrations and to receive information specific to the product line.
“This really helps after we leave because then we have an ambassador in the store who can share the information with customers,” Randazzo says.