Fiskars Corp, the global leader in gardening hand tools, has launched a new product designed to improve weed removal. The Weed Puller, marketed as UpRoot in the US, is a clear attempt by the company to strengthen its leadership in what is a highly fragmented and highly competitive market.
Standing out in a crowded market
While Fiskars manufactures products in homewares and gardening tools, gardening hand toolsremains its primary focus. Although worth around US$6 billion in 2011, the global hand tools market is a challenging one for players due to its high level of fragmentation and tough competitive environment.
In 2011, Fiskars led the market with a 2% value share. Close behind were a handful of similar global players such as MTD (1% share) and Husqvarna (1% share) as well as strong local players such as Draper Tools Ltd (UK) and Illinois Tool Works Inc (US).
In the context of this highly crowded market, Fiskars is turning to innovation in function and design to propel itself above the competition. To that end, the new Weed Puller provides a number of advantages over existing products.
Targeting demand for 'chemical-free'
Firstly, the tool provides a chemical-free alternative to competitor categories such as growing media. With consumer interest in natural ingredients growing across categories as diverse as home care, skin care and ready meals, reaching out to chemical-conscious consumers is a clever strategy for manufacturers in certain home and garden categories. In North America and Western Europe, where the organic and all-natural trends are most pronounced, consumers are likely to welcome a chemical-free weed removal option like the Weed Puller.
New Fiskars Weed Puller (UpRoot in the US)
Innovative design for ease of use
Secondly, Fiskars claims its new product is more effective than other weed removal tools such as trimmers, which remove weeds at the surface. Even more advantageous, however, is the product's distinct and lightweight design. The tool requires considerably less physical effort than imposed by heavier power tools or hand tools that require a greater range of movement. The product channels the bulk of its force from the feet, thereby reducing the strain on the user's back.
Although this advantage benefits gardeners of all ages, the Weed Puller's ease of use will be especially appealing to older consumers. With a large portion of spending on garden products in developed countries believed to come from the middle-aged and retired population, Fiskars' newproduct is likely to find a receptive consumer base among older consumers.
More needed moving forward
The new product launch and accompanying advertising campaigns are positive developments forFiskars. Both are likely to increase brand recognition and showcase an innovative edge. However, the company will need to continue these efforts if it hopes to make noticeable headway in market share. Nevertheless, the Weed Puller is a commendable first step towards bolstering category leadership.