WEBER SEGMENTS CUSTOMERS TO KEEP ITS GRILL SALES SIZZLING

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Weber-Stephens Products Co. says it had a good season for selling grills this year because the company is able to target upscale customers through a database segmentation system created by Denver-based Looking Glass.

Weber grills range in price from $30 to $3,o00, but the bulk of its sales come from the high-end line targeted to nine segments of Weber's 1.7 million customer base.

"We wanted to find a more dimensional way to look at our consumer base beyond the traditional demographic measures," said Christina Schroeder, director of marketing. "It's a great tool not only for us to look at how to target our marketing communications, but also a way to describe our customers internally and externally to both our employees and our retail customers."

All nine segments have specific names, such as "Alec & Elyse," the segment of urban, affluent empty nesters with median household incomes of $100,000-plus.

The segmentation teaches the company more about its customer base and points Weber in the precise direction to market to those and other like-minded consumers.

"We were able to pick media based on these consumers, what we know about them and what interests them, and selectively pick the right media for that," Ms. Schroeder said.

This year's print campaign from Bozell Worldwide, Chicago ran in publications such as Departures, Gourmet and Robb Report.

As a result, she said, sales this year to date are up significantly.

"Weber's a very consumer-centric company," she said, adding, "Our goal is not to just sell them a grill and go away. We want to stay with them for the life of that grill and on into their next purchase."

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