High-Quality Product, Incredible Customer Service and a Reasonable Price
The company’s success today is due in part to its tradition of building the best quality product and backing it with the best possible service. Armstrong-Clark also benefits from not having to worry about formula changes when the U.S. EPA or states tighten regulations. The company has drawn on its history to formulate an outstanding, old-fashioned, traditional exterior oil-based wood stain that is compliant in every state for current and anticipated regulations.
Paint & Decorating Retailer: How is your oil-based wood stain different than other compliant stains?
Armstrong-Clark: We use a blend of high-quality drying and nondrying oils that create two layers of protection in one application. The nondrying oils dive deep into the wood, while the drying oils stay at the surface to create a barrier, to protect the nondrying oils from Mother Nature. We also have transparent, semitransparent, hardwood and semisolid colors available. Lastly, we haven’t had a formula change since 2011.
PDR: What support do you offer when it comes to training store employees about new products?
AC: A store employee only has the capacity to absorb so much, and turnover is a challenge. In addition to providing introductory materials, we offer free stain to store employees to use on their own projects so they can see how easy our stain is to use and how long it lasts. We worked with our retailers to develop a how-to brochure that provides a quick but detailed education about wood care; including understanding new wood; clarifying how much stain to apply; understanding the effects of prep on color; and a quick guide to pressure-washing. This brochure can be used as a reference tool to answer customer questions. Customers sometimes spend days researching online, which often results in more confusion than answers. Stores can provide this brochure every time they hand out a free sample can.
AC: For starters, we answer the phone. A retailer’s customer is every bit our customer, and we are here to help. Retailers are busy. Regardless of the reason, a retailer can call us to ask a question or send their customer to us. We advertise in several industry publications, and we are growing our social media presence on Facebook and Instagram. We currently have over 16,000 Instagram followers. Each month we run online ads on both social media platforms in target markets for either growth, brand awareness or retail support.
PDR: Why should independent retailers believe you when you say Armstrong-Clark products will not be sold in big-box stores?
AC: Our president, Brian Carter, served a three-year sentence working with big boxes, and he has absolutely no desire to do business with companies that put him and his family through what they endured. We also don’t do business with discount stores. We are a family-owned business, and we appreciate and value continuing to do business with independents.
Get more information about Armstrong-Clark stains at www.armclark.com.