MINNEAPOLIS: The Toro Company has hired LaBreche Murray to be part of a major new marketing push for its Lawn-Boy brand. Toro spoke with five agencies, including one from New York and one from Chicago, before selecting LaBreche. "We really decided we needed the focus of a smaller agency," said Kyle Henning, marketing manager for Lawn-Boy. Toro also was impressed by a proprietary measurement system LaBreche uses, he added.
The agency will put four people on the account.
"We're really asking them to help us rejuvenate, reignite the Lawn-Boy brand," Henning explained. "This is an outward sign of this company's intention to get behind the Lawn-Boy brand again."
Toro bought the Lawn-Boy brand in 1989 but had not put a great deal of marketing muscle behind it in recent years, Henning explained. Still, Lawn-Boy has a high rate of owner loyalty - 54% are repeat buyers versus a 28% repurchase rate for all lawn-mower brands, Henning said.
New PR will try to capitalize on that owner loyalty while positioning Lawn-Boy products as easy to use, he said.
"We're trying to aim the Lawn-Boy at a group that values an easier mowing experience," Henning said.
Beth LaBreche, president of the Minneapolis agency that bears her name, said that will mean aiming PR at women and senior citizens.
Media-relations efforts aimed at consumers will touch on the exercise benefits of lawn mowing, as well as the connection it gives people with their neighbors, LaBreche said.
In addition to its lawn mowers, Lawn-Boy plans PR around several new products in the lawn-care area, Henning said.
Toro saw its net earnings jump 34% in the first quarter to $9.3 million, partially the result of a major cost-cutting drive within the company.