After more than 100 years in business, Freudenberg Household Products LP faces a dilemma — how to keep its brand at the forefront of consumers' minds.
Sure, its O-Cedar brand has a catchy jingle, an advertising catch phrase, but it needs more than that to compete against products from “a lot of other companies all around us,” said Michael Berg, senior vice president. Berg was interviewed at the O-Cedar booth at the International Home + Housewares Show, held March 10-13 in Chicago.
Innovative products are certainly an important part of it, like the new ProMist Spray Mop, but it doesn't hurt to have a trump card in hand —as in real estate mogul Donald Trump, whose reality TV show Celebrity: Apprentice featured the ProMist in its March 18 airing.
“It brings the brand name home,” Berg said.
And while FHP played up Trump and the show's more than 6 million weekly viewers — including a visit from a celebrity impersonator at its booth during the annual trade show — Berg stressed that it is solid product research and development that keeps consumers.
FHP, part of Germany's multi-industry Freudenberg & Co. KG, developed the ProMist specifically to respond to consumers' worries about finding the right type of cleaning solution bottle for their spray mops. FHP's housewares are sold under the Vileda brand name in Europe.
“They think the category is far too complicated, which leads to ‘refill anxiety,'” said Berg, who is U.S. commercial director for FHP.
The blow molded bottle on the ProMist is refillable, rather than requiring replacement. Like most of the O-Cedar products, the bulk of it is made at the company's Aurora, Ill., facility.
Beyond TV appearances, O-Cedar is revamping its website to bring in new consumers and touting environmental benefits of its products, such as the bristles on its Power Corner Angle Broom made from post-consumer PET.