Thermoforming Report

July Thermoforming Report: Brand Loyalty

by Keith Brown, President & Owner, Siena Group.

July 2024.

July… already! And it is hot out there. But it also typically means home projects are well underway by plenty of us DIY’ers. Which brand of tools do you prefer? Why do you choose that particular brand? Brands and brand loyalty is an interesting topic, and we explore it a bit in our main article below. And yes, I worked to draw parallels to the world of talent management and the market that we live in. Enjoy!

As usual, we have several great articles relevant to our industry and quite a few amazing All Stars to highlight! Check them out down below in the links on the right. We have extraordinary talent that we feature and that also now includes Executive Leaders.

Brand Loyalty: Does it Matter?

How important is a brand to you? 

That question needs to be asked from two perspectives: either you are the business owner… or you are the customer. 

Looking at this topic from the perspective of the customer (or client, or buyer, or consumer), brand loyalty comes down to meeting specific purposes or needs.  They are comfortable.  Or they are trustworthy.  Or they are reliable.  Or they are value-added.  Or any number of things! 

Case Study: Tool Brands

As a preview to our upcoming blog – and because I’m currently entrenched in multiple DIY projects myself – it makes sense to dig into this particular version of brands and brand loyalty. As usual, there is a ton of information out there written by people smarter than me. I am barely scratching the surface, but it serves its purpose in better understanding the talent world we live in.

Though brands and brand loyalty are quite different across the spectrum of goods and services, the concepts of why people choose to stick with one or explore other options remain similar. Additionally, market dynamics can heavily influence things and must not be discounted or overlooked. This applies to tools… and also to the world of talent search and recruiting.

Loyalty: It’s Nuts!

Regarding tool brands, as part of my own experience in needing to purchase a couple of new tools and using the tools available to me from friends, I did a lot of research.  I expected to get the typical opinions and reviews… but not to this extent!  People are flat-out passionate about their tools!

I strongly recommend you don’t search on this topic.  I’m serious – it’s nuts

If you do a straight-up internet search or a YouTube search for “tool brand comparisons” or anything similar, you will be inundated not only with tons of content… but the rest of your browsing will mysteriously have new ads populate with every kind of tool and DIY thing you can imagine! 😆

After sifting through the multitudes of information, I found some great gems that work for both tools and recruiting.

Here is one particularly wise video for your perusal: YouTube video “Essential Craftsman”, 5/15/24: Tool Brand Loyalty: We’re All Biased!  At 6:17 he shared, “I choose to get familiar with whatever my tools are capable of and whatever I’m capable of, and then sort of adjust my work and pace myself to that capability. Ride the horsey saddle, bake with the flour you’ve got… whatever you want to call it, just get the work done. Because it’s a poor workman that blames his tools.”  This entire short video is LOADED with nuggets that can be readily applied to recruiting!

Here are my talent search parallels:

  • Know your talent partners.  You can leverage your network and recruit – to an extent.  Your talent partner can help you “get the work done.”  External recruiters are a valuable tool to use… so use us!
  • It is a partnership.  The tool doesn’t work without the person actually squeezing the trigger!  The better the tool, the better the outcome.  But one doesn’t work without the other. So use us! (Yes, I said it again!)

In that same video, check out a few of the comments. 

  • “Management should always be nervous about quality. The customers are a crucial part of a healthy product.”
  • “My ‘loyalty’ is to quality, not to some brand name that is bought and sold like any other commodity.  When the quality is no longer there, neither is my loyalty. It really is as simple as that.”
  • I could not agree more with regard to their thoughts on quality!

Another great article about how the dynamics have changed in the tool industry, Hardware Journal, The Changing Dynamics of Brand Loyalty, was a very interesting read.

… brand loyalty is fickle and only effective if the products are good, and the existence of platform-based ranges does NOT, in itself, guarantee lifelong support from the customer or perennial strong sales for the retailer. Even long-term loyal users of a brand will happily cast off a tired range (often to apprentices), particularly if the warranty period has lapsed, in order to experiment with a differently branded set of equipment that appears to have an edge over the opposition.

Hardware Journal

Interestingly enough, a comment from the video above pointed out this exact thing: “I’m a DIY weekend warrior. In my opinion, for cordless tools, the darn battery platforms hold more people ‘captive’ than ‘loyal’.”

The Parallels

Quality matters. We all want great products and services that bring tremendous value. 

The experience of bad customer service can really taint a brand… or can solidify a customer for the long term if it’s great. Even established brand recognition matters.  [If you don’t believe me, check out the massive rebranding failure that happened with Tropicana.]

In recruiting and talent management, it is effectively the same.  Companies want to know they are getting great value when investing in a recruiter. Candidates want to be treated with respect and be exposed to great companies with great opportunities. Service levels make huge impacts – just ask anyone who’s been ghosted by a recruiter!

Does quality matter?  Absolutely! 

If multiple people are presented on a role that do not align and miss the mark, will the internal recruiter be looking for a new job?  Will the external recruiter get offered up to support another role? On the flip side, if great people are presented and hired, you can expect more opportunities will be entrusted to that recruiter – internal or external! 

Brand recognition may not be hugely important in recruiting, but trust is earned through doing good work and generating value-added content. And trust & value are key components of good branding!

Like just about everything we do and experience, it all boils down to results.  Does the tool/recruiter work the way it should?  Is the tool/recruiter easy to use/easy to work with?  Can you trust the tool/recruiter to do the job the right way?

From a recent Forbes article [3/17/2024: The Secret to Creating Brand Loyalty (spoiler alert: it’s about trust, transparency, honesty, advocacy, and positive customer experience!), the statement below sums up this topic nicely.

From the very first transaction with a customer, you are giving a product [or service] in exchange for money and trust. What leads a shopper to your brand and not a competitor’s can vary on a shopper by shopper basis, but what gets them to keep coming back is up to you.


As your Thermoforming Talent Partner, we represent clients AND candidates! We’re here to help in any and every way possible! We provide hiring strategies, priority candidate searches, job searches, client & candidate introductions, interview tips, résumé facelifts, resignation strategies, and much much more. LET’S STRENGTHEN YOUR SEARCH!

“Trust is earned through doing good work and generating value-added content. And trust & value are key components of good branding!” Keith Brown, Owner/President, Siena Group

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We are excited to share a new program with you: our Executive Showcase! With our recent retained searches for high-level senior leaders, we have access to executives who are fully vetted and who are confidentially seeking a new opportunity. These leaders are VPs, SVPs, EVPs, and C-level — across Sales, Operations, Quality, Supply Chain, Finance, and more. Although these roles are normally filled via networking (and therefore not publicly published), we believe it makes sense to showcase them to essentially add to your networking efforts. So, we’re showcasing their talents, results, and experiences through our Executive Showcase! Below are a few of our more recent Executive All-Stars.

Sales & Marketing Executive: Accountability for $300M in annual revenue as Vice President of Sales & Marketing with a diverse nationally focused team. Full responsibility in driving sales, turning around profitability, rebuilding the team, and developing new processes.

Quality Executive: This Vice President of Quality brings expertise in med-device & regulated environments and supports a global manufacturing footprint. Strong history of success: delivering double-digit complaint reductions, saving millions in continuous improvement activities, and rolling out best practice quality programs and initiatives.

Sales & Marketing Executive: With international experience and accountability for $150M in annual revenue, this Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing has a key strength in connecting sales, operations, and product development in a unified strategy. Significant CAGR in top-line sales and double-digit growth in margins, with millions of dollars in the NPD pipeline and new sales. Strong pedigree & experience in PE-held companies.

Sales & Marketing Executive: With strengths in both heavy and thin gauge thermoforming, this Vice President of Sales & Marketing has generated millions of dollars in new business through launching new products ($2M on just one piece of foodservice business!). Brings full accountability for all sales, marketing, customer service, NPD and design teams, and more.

Even More Thermoforming Talent! We work with so many talented people in many different functions – all in thermoforming. Whether it’s an Operations Leader, Plant Manager, Supply Chain Leader, HR Leader, specialized Engineer, Quality Leader, Sales Leader, or pretty much any thermoforming role, we are here to help. If you have a need, please do not hesitate to reach out! 

Click for more All-Stars + our new Executive Showcase.

At Siena Group, we are your Thermoforming Talent Partner. With more than 30 years of experience in manufacturing, hiring & recruiting talent, we bring a greater understanding of the companies we partner with and the candidates we pursue.
Let’s Strengthen Your Search!

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