By Patrick Dupies

Companies of all sizes commit the lion’s share of their marketing budgets to branding: the creation of a specific positive identity for a product or service. Millions upon millions of dollars are spent over time in this endeavor, as it takes repetitive messages in a multitude of media and applications to succeed at creating a brand identity.

Now, after successfully building their brand, one company is violating the rules of marketing and actually inviting their customers to remove that brand at will.

In a bold move that will most assuredly be watched both across the water industry and in the manufacturing sector at large, Pentair Water has pioneered a way for independent dealers to design their own marketing materials—materials where the Pentair brand may be removed to allow dealers to feature themselves. This enables every independent dealer to create point-of-sale literature that brands their own dealership, right down to the logo.

Website based
Pentair’s customers will begin by going to the Fleck Controls website ( A simple registration process takes only a few moments to complete. After registering, a user name and password grants access to the site and its features.

Using the drop-down menu, dealers can select ‘product literature’ and view thumbnails or PDF proofs of all the different Pentair brochures and spec sheets that are currently available. For example, there’s a three-panel brochure that says, Building or remodeling a home? aimed at new home buyers. By going through consecutive steps, much of it can be customized to feature a particular individual dealership. On the front cover, the dealership name and logo can be inserted across the bottom. Outside, the center back panel is totally blank. Some dealers are using this space to insert a coupon—“Good for $100 off a whole-house system”—and leaving these at homebuilder design centers in their area. Within the next couple of months, users will be able to change tank colors so that the brochure illustrations will match the dealer’s preferences and supplies.

The actual hardcore data and information in any of the available brochures cannot be altered or customized. But other elements can be changed—for example, if your dealership only carries Pentair’s blue tanks, all the tanks in a brochure can be made blue so customers only see what is available at your dealership.

By far the most popular brochure is the eight-page, Why do I need a water softener? but there are a host of other choices.

Instant sample and rapid order fulfillment
The software behind this innovative website is capable of storing a dealership’s logo and contact information in a secure file, so that subsequent orders are quick and easy to fulfill. Dealers with multiple locations can enter the specifics of each but have the entire list of facilities saved under one individual user for ease of ordering.

There are no mandatory fields—you choose whether or not to use your logo, and to use it wherever you prefer, as  the text will adjust and reflow to accomodate its placement.

When finished, the customized input is shown in a thumbnail display or a PDF proof that can be printed out right then and there, and while the resolution is lower than production quality it is a handy, instant sample. At that point, the dealer can check out or continue shopping for other literature.

The secure site enables dealers to place quantity orders for the literature they have created with any major credit card. Using one of the leading printers in the United States for fulfillment of these orders, Pentair is guaranteeing 48-hour turnaround for quantities up to 2,000 pieces. Shipping charges will apply, of course and the order can ship to single or multiple destinations.

Costs are surprisingly reasonable, since the company does not consider this a for-profit sideline; rather, it is simply acting as a facilitator between printer and dealer without adding a markup. The result is extremely affordable custom literature—and the printing is state-of-the-art.

The result of a few minutes spent on the website is remarkable. An independent dealership can, at very little cost, have a complete line of customized literature, featuring their own logo and contact information and any promotion they wish.
Pentair’s name is nowhere in sight.

About the author
Patrick Dupies can be reached at Pentair Water Treatment, where he is the Product Marketing Manager. He can be reached at  (262) 780-2380; fax (262) 784-7237 or via email at [email protected]

About the company
Pentair is a diversified operating company headquartered in Minnesota. Its Water Group is a global leader in providing innovative products and systems used worldwide in the movement, treatment, storage and enjoyment of water. Pentair’s Enclosures Group is a leader in the global enclosures market, designing and manufacturing standard, modified and custom enclosures that house and protect sensitive electronics and electrical components. Revenues from continuing operations in 2004 were $2.28 billion, or $2.76 billion on a pro forma basis (as if Pentair’s 2004 acquisitions had been completed at the beginning of the year). Pentair has approximately 13,000 employees worldwide.



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