JD Competitive Analysis (2)

Part
01
of three
Part
01

Caterpillar and Kubota

Both Caterpillar and Kubota feature their lawn and agricultural equipment in interactive ways for the customer on their websites. Caterpillar's website offers 3-D tours, photos, and videos of equipment, in addition to the ability to download brochures, view general videos, a payment calculator, and providing access to online educational courses about equipment maintenance. Active Caterpillar rental customers have access to a mobile portal to manage their rental equipment. Kubota's website has an interactive "Build My Kubota" feature, allowing the customer to select and build equipment to any specification, including warranties, a price calculator, and financing options. Kubota's website homepage utilizes interactive pop ups and photo changes from hovering over images. Kubota also includes product videos and a wide variety of photos and product implementation recommendations on the website. Both Caterpillar and Kubota have interactive dealer searches, however the dealer sites themselves yielded no additional interactive features specific to these two companies. Both companies have an extensive variety of informative and educational product videos on their YouTube channels, and they actively post photos and informational content on a number of other social media channels.

Caterpillar

  • At first glance the Caterpillar product website appears very basic, with very limited interactive tools, until the customer looks at specific new equipment. Here, the customer can view a 3-D tour of select machinery, with the ability to see all aspects, and turn the equipment 360 degrees, as well as zooming in and out. Other equipment has numerous photos and videos explaining the equipment.
  • Customers can request product brochures and information by entering their information, or they can immediately download brochures.
  • The website also has a convenient interactive payment calculator, where the customer can enter a number of parameters.
  • The webpage regularly gives customers a link to their location finder with a map, in order to find a dealer and obtain more information.
  • The website also indicates the availability of Caterpillar University Service Training Courses to learn how to maintain equipment.
  • The Cat home page has engaging stories with videos and photos of individuals working for or inspired by Cat, yet they are not specifically related to lawn and garden or agricultural lines.
  • A video in the rental equipment section encourages customers to check out their rental store. The rental store promotes their online customer portal, where customers can manage rental equipment remotely with any device. Features include accessing all rental related contracts and information, extending terms on existing contracts, transferring equipment between job sites, and requesting on-site service.
  • The website includes links to interact with the company via social media through YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. According to the website, these social media connections allow customers to view updates, trends, trade show and new product announcements, as well as free training webinars and videos, and customer testimonials.
  • When the customer clicks on the YouTube link, it directs you to the company's YouTube page, and a small embedded video immediately starts playing to engage the customer. Caterpillar has 12 dealer channels specific to different aspects of the company. They also have a wide range of subscriptions, videos, and playlists. The videos range from general company information to specific how-to videos for individual machinery. The playlists appear to be organized by specific brands or equipment available for rent.
  • The company's LinkedIn page features customer stories and company or industry updates with photos and videos.
  • The company's Facebook page features stories, videos, and photos of individuals and business news and events. Similar photos are reposted on their Twitter and Instagram pages.

Kubota

  • The Kubota website immediately begins interacting with the customer. Hovering over product photos switches the image with a white backdrop to the product in a natural setting. Similarly, hovering over the different company divisions (construction, agriculture, commercial, and residential) causes a pop-up with more text to appear.
  • The main page also has a very prominent link to finding a dealer, which links to an interactive search page. The dealer search page includes a map with icons differentiating the availability of various options at the locations.
  • The top of the main page has a sideways scrollable large features section, to highlight exciting deals and options with large photos and brief descriptions.
  • Another bold feature on the main page is a link to Build Your Kubota. This leads to a page which easily guides the customer through the process of configuring equipment to their own specifications and includes: choosing the model, choosing all available features, choosing warranty type, and then showing the final price breakdown. Throughout the process the customer can easily go back to another model or start over. The final price screen also shows links to have a dealer contact the customer, find a dealer, printing the quote, and a payment estimator. Additionally, a large box provides a link to apply for financing, or gives a link for financing information.
  • The link to apply for financing appears to be a simple online process. The payment estimator also is a simple box that pops up to fill in and see different options.
  • When the customer clicks on a specific product category, such as tractors, there is an icon to see the machinery in action. When this is clicked, a YouTube video pops up, which also has additional videos listed under the main video.
  • When a specific product is clicked, the customer has the ability to download brochures, look at numerous photos of unique features, watch a product video, see product specifications, and look at a number of popular implementations of the equipment.
  • Additional resources on the website include a media center with links to company articles, and a company blog covering a range of topics.
  • The website also includes links to the company's social media, which include Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIN.
  • Similarly to Caterpillar, when a customer clicks on Kubota's YouTube link from their website, it goes to the YouTube page, and a small embedded video begins playing immediately. Kubota also has a number of channels, playlists, and videos showcasing product features and events.
  • The company's Facebook page has a variety of videos, photos, and events. Similar photos appear on their Instagram and LinkedIn pages.
Part
02
of three
Part
02

Polaris and Black & Decker

BLACK AND DECKER

Website.

My black and Decker is a platform where users can register their products. Register links the product with important recall notifications, proof of ownership, and warranty service.

The platform offers DIY projects, but the link doesn't work. Anyway, more DIY projects are available at the homepage with no need to register, so it doesn't look like an important driver to engage with their users. To access the platform, you must go to the home of B&D and register on the top right button.

Social networks.

The B&D YouTube channel would be a good place to get in touch whit their customers (People looking for tutorials and unboxing makes YouTube a great place to seed content), but B&D has posted 69 videos that look like commercial ads. The last video on the channel was uploaded 10 months ago and the brand doesn't answer most of the customers' comments. They have 13.200 subscribers on the channel.

On the B&D Facebook the brand doesn't share much content, posting an average of 2 times a month. The account has 1,2 million followers, but the company has a low engagement rate. A normal post gets between 25-55 likes. A few posts that are promoting specific products have got 5.000 likes and more, and this makes us think that B&D is boosting these posts with some budget on Facebook ads. In December B&D made an activity to give away tool kits, the post got 1.100 likes and more than 300 comments, but that was an exceptional activity.

On Instagram, the brand has 18.700 followers, and the engagement rate is too low, getting between 100 and 200 likes per post. Again we can see some promoted posts getting much higher likes and comments, but we didn't see answers of the brand to the users' comments.

On twitter, B&D has 45.000 followers but the engagement is almost 0. We can see that the brand answers the complaints of all users here, maybe because Twitter is known as a powerful customer channel support and B&D knows it.

App

B&D has an app that allows customers to control the robot vacuum and the batteries. It's not a two-way channel, it is just an app that allows the users to check the energy level of batteries and program the robot activity.

Other activities

Since October 2018, the company celebrates the Makers Month. B&D encourages students, parents, educators, and makers of all ages to participate in activities and challenges that spark curiosity, and build excitement for the power of making. As a social responsibility initiative, the vision of the activity is to empower 10 million people by 2030. It's more an academic than a customer-related activity, and no posts are promoting the activity on the B&D social networks.

Dealer Networks

The B&D website highlights as main authorized retailers to Home Depot, Lowe's, Walmart, Amazon, Target, and CPO, but no interactive activities, apps, or digital initiatives could be identified from these companies associated with B&D.

POLARIS

Website.

The Polaris website offers real value to their customers. The brand has a Community section that offers information about rides, rentals, rider groups, safety, training, funding and customer support. It's a very complete community and offers two-way channels to connect with their customers.

The Polaris Riders Community offers to their customers the opportunity to connect with other owners of Polaris vehicles, plan travels, get technical support, and other activities. The riders community also provides vehicle rentals.

The Polaris Adventure offers guided or self-guided travels. This can be short or long term, and are provided for different outfitters.

Ride command is a platform to register your vehicle for technical support, but it allows you to create and share tracks too. Ride Command features a mobile app that works as a GPS, and it's not just for Polaris owners.

Product safety and training information are available on YouTube. Polaris has 256 videos, and these aren't mixed with ads or other commercial information. It's a valuable technical consulting site for the owners of a Polaris vehicle.

As a social responsibility activity, Polaris has the T.R.A.I.L.S. Grant Application. TGA was launched in January 2006 for ATV clubs, associations and grassroots groups. It makes funds available to national, state and local organizations in the US to ensure the future of ATV riding, promoting safe and responsible riding.

Social networks.

Polaris YouTube channel 17.200 subscribers 256 videos and it's a more technical repository. Users can find the different ATV models and tutorials about how to take care of them.

Polaris Instagram is a well-engaged community. They have 539.000 followers and they can get from 3.000 to 18.000 likes. It means they are relevant to their community and have the attention of the Polaris fans.

On Facebook Polaris has 180.000 followers and uses it as a corporate channel. The interactive communities shown on the website have their social networks to share different content.

Dealer Networks

The Polaris dealer network has more than 3000 members and we didn't find interactive actions to get engaged to their customers.

Research strategy

We looked for interactive actions, apps or initiatives for both brands but we didn't find any information. So, we made an exhaustive search through their websites and social networks looking for the ways that both brands get engaged with their customers. B&D doesn't have much interest on this, but Polaris does.

Part
03
of three
Part
03

Ryobi, Snapper, and Kawasaki

Research uncovered very limited interactive experiences, tools, or apps used by Kawasaki, Snapper, and Ryobi on their websites, social media, and dealer channels to engage with their audience. Kawasaki is the only company to embed social media widgets on their homepage, which is considered a powerful way to connect with one's audience. Snapper dedicated a significant portion of its homepage to an attractive offer to its clients, which Lyfe Marketing considers an interactive way to display offers that website visitors "cannot refuse".

Kawasaki

  • The main website appears to be straightforward, with no apparent customer interaction opportunities. Throughout the length of the home page are pictures of their mower engine products and links to their detailed descriptions, as high resolution images of various lawn and garden mowing tools continue flash-scrolling at the top of the home page.
  • It does include an embedded Twitter widget that shares a post on increasing engine longevity. According to Guidelight Business Solutions, social media widgets embedded on web pages may be considered interactive tools that brands can use to drive " direct, deeply aligned and integrated brand experiences" for their clients.
  • Business News Daily further posits that embedded social media widgets may increase the dwell time of one's website visitors, giving them a chance to engage with more content, reducing bounce rates.
  • Its Facebook page has 137,734 followers and consists mainly of banner posters, some of which have links to the advertised products included. Its YouTube page has 38 videos on various aspects of their products in both English and Spanish. Its Twitter page boasts of a following of 1,299 followers with posts similar to its Facebook page.

Snapper

  • Snapper's homepage consists of high resolution images flash-scrolling at the top of the page and a list of its mowing products spread down the page. The approach to product listing appears to be direct, with brief explanations of each product's capabilities.
  • Towards the bottom of the homepage is a wide banner advertising an offer to win a $200 gift card for clients who choose to register and/or review their Snapper products. Lyfe Marketing, a social media management company, considers display offers as an interactive way to enhance personalization and consequently drive sales.
  • Its Facebook page has 59,169 followers and 5,392 followers on Twitter. Both pages include posts on products with links back to its website and third party resellers such as Amazon. Its YouTube page boasts of 1,600 subscribers with numerous videos on its product lines.

Ryobi

  • Ryobi's website includes high resolution images that flash-scroll across the top of the homepage. It also includes an email sign-up pop up, that may prove useful in collecting customer information.
  • Ryobi also has an offer similar to Snapper, but unlike Snapper's wide banner, Ryobi's display offer is found only after scrolling through highlights at the bottom of the homepage.
  • Ryobi boasts of a significant social media following, with over 1 million followers on Facebook, 5.2 million monthly visitors on Pinterest, 152, 000 followers on Instagram, about 46,600 subscribers on YouTube, and 22, 100 followers on Twitter. An analysis of their social media pages shows the use of banners and short videos to advertise their product lines, with links provided, as is the case witnessed on Facebook and Twitter.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
From Part 02
Quotes
  • "MyBLACK+DECKER is your portal to the world of DIY on BLACK+DECKER.com."
Quotes
  • "Get the tools you need for DIY tasks now and throughout the year in one convenient kit with battery, hand tools, accessories, carrying case, and a cordless drill."
Quotes
  • "POWERSERIES® 2in1 Cordless Stick Vacuum"
Quotes
  • "Customer service isn’t what it used to be thanks to social media."
Quotes
  • "The BLACK+DECKER™ app now supports the all new BLACK+DECKER™ Robot Vacuum and BLACK+DECKER Batteries."
Quotes
  • "Create Locally, Share Globally"
Quotes
  • "Locate BLACK+DECKER Products Near You"
Quotes
  • "65 years ago, our founders created an early snowmobile to better travel through northern Minnesota winters."
Quotes
  • "Fueling the passion of riders, workers and outdoor enthusiasts."
Quotes
  • "Adventures are defined as exciting or remarkable experiences, which is exactly what Polaris Adventures is dedicated to providing."
Quotes
  • "Welcome to ride Command"
Quotes
  • "At Polaris, we are extremely committed to the safety of our customers and riders."
Quotes
  • "The first of its kind in the ATV industry, the T.R.A.I.L.S. grant program was launched in January 2006 for ATV clubs"