When Johnson Hardware, a manufacturer of hardware for pocket and other door styles, came to Walt Denny Inc., it knew it had to overcome builder and remodeler resistance to pocket doors. Builders had preconceptions due to the unreliability of previous generations of pocket doors. Johnson needed to raise awareness for its brand and its high quality, and wanted to reposition its products to increase sales. The company had not previously marketed directly to homeowners or utilized PR.
WDI established a comprehensive advertising and PR strategy to position Johnson Hardware as an upgrade product in custom homes. We targeted both the trade and consumers through leading media. By securing Johnson's position as a desired upgrade, tract home builders would be drawn to it for products that enhance and differentiate their homes. The new consumer focus would create pull-through marketing with homeowners specifically seeking Johnson Hardware to help make homes more attractive, functional and versatile. PR tactics included media relations, news releases and trade show appointments. WDI also created or updated the spectrum of Johnson marketing material: sales literature, room setting photography, 4-color packaging, trade show and truck graphics, and new online video on how to install pocket doors.
Johnson Hardware has the top ranking for keywords on Google, ahead of strong competitors. Internet sales are up 500 percent over three years. Housing industry professionals and homeowners continue to recognize Johnson Hardware's ability to create more usable space, provide enhanced privacy and allow rooms to flow together seamlessly. In 2008, Johnson had the #1 product for Builder magazine's reader information requests. For consumers, Johnson Hardware was the #1 lead generator for Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications four out of five years, coming in second the other year. Johnson’s installation video steadily gains YouTube views and has been documented by influential editors, home improvement experts and bloggers. With results driving traffic to the brand’s site, Johnson maintains its leading status for organic web search results.