This year, Bostik is busy celebrating Blu Tack®'s 50th birthday, Jackie Roberts category manager tells us more about what the company has been working on.
Tell us a brief history of Bostik. Who started the company and when?
The company was originally founded as the Boston Blacking Co. in Chelsea, Massachusetts in 1889. At the time, it was a producer of leather colourings and dyes for the shoemaking industry. Bostik is now a world leader in adhesive technologies, with operations in 45 countries. The head office for our UK operations is based at our factory in Stafford, and we also have manufacturing facilities in Dalton and Leicester. Since1889the company has patented more than 9,000 technologies, ranging from Blu Tack® to the first elastic attachment adhesive used in babies' nappies.
What is Bostik known for? What's your bestselling product?
Blu Tack® continues to be not only our best-selling line in the craft/stationery market, but also the UK's best-selling reusable adhesive. It's a great product for crafters, who use it for displaying their creations on the wall, as well as a number of other things, such as holding templates in place or gathering up small fragments of glitter ask any crafter and they're sure to have plenty of ingenious uses, or #BluHacks, of their own!
This year we're celebrating Blu Tack®'s 50th birthday. We marked the occasion with a limited edition 50 per cent extra free pack that proved to be a huge success, as well as a range of other competitions and giveaways on social media.Besides Blu Tack®, sales of our Glu Dots and Foam Pads continue to go from strength to strength, along with our All Purpose glue which is the best-selling multi-purpose tube of glue on the market.
With other products including Blu Sticks, PVA glue, Glitter Glue, Fast Tak spray adhesives and Glue Guns also available, you're spoilt for choice with Bostik.
Tell us about your newest range. What are you most excited about?
We're really excited about the launch of our new Blu Tack® Squares – which sees the traditional slab of reusable adhesive transformed into pre-cut squares, which is great for portion control.
Our independent research found that 65 per cent of adhesive tack buyers would buy Blu Tack® in squares, so this is a new product launching in direct response to consumer demand.
For those who find it difficult to sew or just don't have the time, we've also introduced our new Fabric Glue. The new, ultra-strong clear glue is perfect for fabric crafts, repairs and alterations. It provides a long lasting and flexible bond on a variety of materials including cotton, denim and linen, as well as tougher fabrics such as felt, leather and PVC. What's more, the glue is machine-washable and safe to iron.
What are people looking for when crafting these days?
In terms of adhesives, we know how important a good glue is to any crafter. No matter how good a craft project is, unless there's a good glue behind it, it could fall apart. That's why we continue to innovate and improve, with new technologies introduced year after year.
We also know how important it is for crafters to find the right glue for their task, which is why we've developed a range of material specific products, such as our new Fabric Glue.
How would you advise a retailer who is interested in stocking your products?
I'd suggest they start by looking at our website to see the range we offer, then get in touch with our customer services team who will be able to advise on how to become a stockist.
When choosing what products to stock, a retailer should always consider the needs of its customer base first; what kind of crafts do they tend to do? If paper craft is important, then our Glu Dots, Foam Pads and Blu Sticks are ideal. If your customers are more into fabrics, our material specific glues could have a role in your range.Most Bostik products come in eye-catching, shelf-ready packaging, so they're perfect for displaying in store. To help retailers maximise sales, we also have counter display units available. If space is at a premium in your store, we offer clip strips for some products too, such as Blu Tack®.For those selling online, we offer a range of content from promotional videos to lifestyle imagery to help convert website visits into sales. In order to increase brand awareness on a wider scale, we also invest heavily in marketing. For example, we recently ran a three-month Sky TV and digital advertising campaign for Blu Tack®, which communicated the additional uses of the product under the theme of #BluHacks.
How has Bostik coped during the Covid-19 pandemic?
As you'd expect, we've seen a real shift towards online sales during the Covid-19 pandemic and we expect this to have a lasting effect on consumer buying behaviour in the future. This means it's never been more important to have a digital marketing strategy in place that covers a wide range of activity; including email, social media, SEO, rich content and paid media to ensure you're visible online and can continue to engage with customers.
It's always good to stay ahead of the game when it comes to new technologies too; particularly those that are designed to make life easier for the modern crafter, so keep your eyes peeled for more new products from Bostik in the coming months.
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