What do you do when your company has a strong position in a valuable market, but intense competition is driving prices and profitability towards commodity levels? The answer is simple; you find ways to innovate and differentiate yourself from the competition. There is probably no other tool as universally used by contractors, estimators, and Do-It-Yourself users as the tape measure. Stanley tools has developed a very successful strategy, and branded it as FATMAX® Xtreme™. The following is their latest innovation in the tape measure category.
What makes the FATMAX line so insightful? In a press release issued by Stanley Tools earlier this year, product manager Ian Kilgour said, “If you’ve ever used a tape rule, then you know how frustrating it is when the tape falls to the ground because the hook didn’t catch on the work… This is why Stanley developed the oversized hook; it is always there when no one else can hold a tape rule for you.”
According to Stanley hand tools, the FATMAX measuring tape line was designed with a 138% larger hooking surface over traditional measuring tapes. This extra bit of metal added to the end hook makes it possible for the tape measure to latch on to surfaces above or below the tape. It even catches on the side, allowing for corner measurements.
What’s the premium for an innovation like this? According to Home Depot’s website, a 25 foot Stanley tape measure sells for $8.88 whereas a 25 foot FATMAX tape measure sells for $19.97. That’s more than twice the cost of a traditional measuring tape by the same manufacturer.
Sometimes innovation is less complicated than it seems. Listen to your customers, do your research. A simple hand tool innovation may be more profitable than you think.