Nerd Marketing 101: Best ‘Foot’ Forward

Posted June 12, 2017 at 1:51 pm


(l/r) A "#Laundrynerds" beer coaster from Inwatec is designed to inject a dose of "hipness" into the laundry industry; Paul Jewison of Textile Care Services, Rochester, MN, dons a pair of socks branded with the Gurtler Industries Inc. logo.    

The Clean Show frequently serves as a forum for catchy or unusual marketing efforts. The 2017 show that ran from June 5-8 in Las Vegas was no exception, with promotional efforts ranging from socks to beer coasters, to name but two examples. Given the high-tech trends now predominant in laundry-related products, it came as no surprise to us that their marketing programs reflected a focus on “nerdiness.” 

For example, during a visit to the Gurtler Industries Inc. booth, Steve Tinker, sr. vice president of research & development and marketing for the laundry chemical company based in South Holland, IL, outlined a marketing plan in which prospects received a single sock emblazoned with the Gurtler name and logo. The package with the single sock arrived with a note to recipients that says “We’d make a great pair”— a bit of light humor accompanying the company’s sales pitch, Tinker said. Recipients were encouraged to come to the Gurtler booth to receive the sock’s mate.  Operators have responded positively to the recent campaign, said Tinker, as he tugged up a trouser leg to show off the fancy socks.

Another company, Kleen-Tex Industries Inc., Atlanta, is using socks printed with the company’s logo as a marketing vehicle for its mat-manufacturing business both here and overseas. Marketing Manager Jocelyn Scott presented a pair of the socks to this correspondent during the show. A catchphrase printed on the paper label that attached the two socks together read: “Kleen-Tex: make more of your floor.”

A third marketing effort we observed centers on a “laundry nerds” campaign used by a Danish machinery manufacturer, Inwatec, which specializes in high-tech systems such as an X-ray machine that detects sharps, pens, silverware and other foreign objects in soiled linen prior to laundering.

Mads Andresen, founder and CEO of the company, said he uses the laundry nerds message as a recruiting tool aimed at engineers and other people with technological skills that the company is targeting to work on its high-tech mat rollers, robot-sorting machinery and other automated systems. “We use the #laundrynerds term a lot in our employer branding – but our customers also like it,” Andresen said. “We want to make the laundry industry an interesting place to work, and show the talented young people that there are a lot interesting problems to solve in this industry.”