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Maxon Industries - Outrigger Case Study



You and I encounter the MAXON Brand every day while driving or commuting. They are one of the roughly 2,600 branding impressions we are all exposed to daily. MAXON puts a little yellow metal plate with big black letters on the back of the bed of every truck outfitted with one of their 150 or so lift gates. However, this case history isn’t about lift gates.


The Client decided to enter the above ground automotive lift market with a two-post unit named the OutRiggerTM. Eight foreign competitors dominated the U.S. market. These foreign manufacturers had driven out all their American competition with lower product cost pricing due to their ability to produce products off shore. The competitor’s products were all four post above ground units that utilized ratchet mechanisms. MAXON’s OutRiggerTM featured a screw drive device that provided failure proof operation and heaver lifting capacity. MAXON had a superior product with a smaller footprint that could be delivered at a cost competitive with the foreign products. At that time MAXON was an unknown entity in the automotive lift market.


Generate a 10% penetration of the national market with the introduction of the OutRigger™ brand product within one year utilizing a limited marketing investment of $75,000.


Develop a comprehensive profile of the market, its potential and appropriate sales and marketing considerations. Research demonstrated four significant facts: #1 By far the greatest share of the market (80%) consisted of mechanic owned and operated shops; #2 Every mechanic’s primary concern was safety. (The European lifts occasionally dropped vehicles—often on mechanics.); #3 Lifting weight was very important--many of the competitors lifts couldn’t handle vans and light duty trucks; #4 Price was a major consideration even with the safety concern.

The market was served by 5 national publications, including 2 tabloids. To maximize the media investment, the media buy was limited to magazine format publications and publicity was used to gain exposure in the tabloids.

A direct response marketing program was created to initiate on-site sales presentations in the mechanic’s work place. Sales collateral was developed that would emphasize the OutRiggersTM significant lifting capabilities and superior safety features as well as its small footprint and ability to be placed anywhere that a competitors unit could be installed.

Initially the campaign featured the product and its lifting capabilities with one insertion of a Full Page B&W Ad in each of the 3 publications. The following month utilized a fractional 1/3 Page B&W print format. Both the initial Full Page and subsequent 1/3 Page Ads visually demonstrated the product lifting a broad variety of vehicles with a positioning headline of The only thing it won’t raise is problems. A second 1/3 Page Ad offered a free brochure which promised to answer the questions regarding above ground lifts.

We used a pulsed media buy for the first five consecutive months, then skipped a month and ran two, skipped another month and ran another two. This pulsed buy provided a media presence for an entire year and created top-of-mind awareness with an extremely limited media budget. The media campaign was augmented with product publicity distributed to Automotive Editors of Newspapers in the top 26 national markets via PR News Wire service. The products 10 superior features, benefits and advantages were presented in the sales brochure which was included in the Press Kits delivered to each of the vertical market publications.

The plan also recommended utilization of a newswire service to extend reach throughout the U.S. to regional trade publications. The media plan initially introduced the product with a full page B&W Ad on a one-insertion basis while using 1/3rd Page Vertical B&W insertions for the 5 remaining consecutive monthly editions. The sales collateral piece was designed to visually demonstrate the 10 compelling reasons to purchase the OutRigger™.


The campaign was a resounding success generating a $4½ million sales backlog within a period of 6 months with an expenditure of less than $55,000.

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