Online Exclusives

Brush Back

January 27, 2012

Once one of the biggest names in household and personal care, Fuller Brush Company is on the comeback trail.

Brush Back
 



Once one of the biggest names in household and personal care, Fuller Brush Company is on the comeback trail.


 
 


Can the Fuller Brush Company woo a new generation of consumers who, quite frankly, may have never heard of the iconic firm?


 
Founded in 1906, Fuller Brush grew to become one of most respected names in the household and personal care space, selling brushes and cleaning products to the masses via an army of door-to-door salesmen.


 
The Fuller Brush Man—a term coined by the *Saturday Evening Post in 1922—was part of pop culture, enjoying media placement everywhere from radio shows to the silver screen.Movies goers even headed out to see “The Fuller Brush Man,” a 1948 action/adventure/comedy starring Red Skelton, and the 1950 follow-up, “The Fuller Brush Girl,” featuring Lucille Ball.


 
By the mid 1960s, the number of Fuller Brush salesmen and women hit 7,000 and its catalog business distribution reached 5 million.


 
But since then there have been a lot of changes—not only in how Americans shop for products and clean their homes—but also for the company. Ownership bounced a round a bit; first to Consolidated Foods (later known as Sara Lee) in 1968, followed by a reacquisition by private investors in 1989. In 1995, Fuller Brush had became part of CPAC, based in Leicester, NY, and in 2007, CPAC was acquired by Buckingham Capital Partners, a private investment firm.


 
So just how does a century-old brand reconnect with consumers who are at least a generation removed from the brand’s heyday and are more at home buying cleaning and personal care brand at big boxes and surfing for product reviews on their smartphones?


 
For starters, Fuller Brush is bulking up its product roster with a keen eye on design, technology and value. Couple that with efforts to enhance its marketing endeavors and expand its presence on more retailer shelves.


 
“We already have over 30 new products in the process of coming to market, with several other initiatives planned for the end of the year. In addition, we have a robust PR and social marketing strategy, that we will be expanding in 2012 that has helped us relaunch our website and e-commerce initiatives,” chief marketing officer for Fuller Brands, Vincent D’Alleva, told Happi.


 
This venerable firm is a relative newcomer to retail; having only hit stores in 2004, eight years after the firm began selling its wares directly to consumers via mail order catalog. It has been on QVC since 2002. Currently, the company is broadening relationships with key retailers including Publix, Home Depot and Orchard Supply.


 
But there are still independent sales reps selling Fuller’s products too.
 


“While we can't speak to the percentage of sales that is done via our direct independent sales representatives, we can say that they are very much a part of our company. They continue to evolve beyond traditional door-to-door methods to those of telemarketing and e-commerce,” D’Alleva said.


 
 
New Product Rollouts
 


 
Part of Fuller’s plan for growth includes new product initiatives. The firm’s Fuller Brush Original Collection, for example, can be used on a number of surfaces, including wood floors, granite, leather and stainless steel.


 
“Our Original Collection of cleaners and brushes bring a new level of design and quality to existing problems,” D’Alleva said. “The Original brushes are reminiscent of our best sellers, but using new materials and colors such as mahogany-colored wood and brass-plated metal for a premium appearance to these products that you use every day in your home.”


 
Fuller is also touting a new range called the Clean N' Easy Collection, which D’Alleva says tackles everyday cleaning challenges.
 


“Each one of our Clean'n Easy products delivers amazing, superior performance to most of the products you are familiar with at the mass market. That's because we are using unique, patented formulations and delivery systems to make each product easy to use and to better clean your home,” he said.


 
The range includes Glass Gel, a unique gel spray formulation that allows homeowner to use a fraction of the amount of cleaner they would normally use with a liquid product, and Disposal-Clean, a foaming product that’s sprayed into the garbage disposal. The foam fills and expands inside the unit to clean all the surfaces of the disposal, especially underneath the rubber seal. While most other products only deodorize, Fuller contends its foam formula breaks down stuck-on food and truly cleans the disposal of all debris.


 
The range also incorporates Clean N’ Easy Stainless Steel Gel, which uses micro-encapsulated silicon beads to clean and polish your stainless steel appliances and surfaces. According to the company, the beads break and mix as the gel exits the sprayer and gives an “amazingly clean and shiny surface that also is excellent at hiding fingerprints.”
 


And in a sure nod to its heritage, Fuller Brush offersa variety of hairbrushes for both men and women, and its Stanley Home Products division continues to offer personal care items like shampoo and lotions—a business line it embarked on in 1943.
 


As a privately held company, the Great Bend KS firm wouldn’t discuss specifics on its past financial performance, but company executives say they expect gains this year.
 


With a long history behind it and strategy for the future, D’Alleva told HAPPI, “We're certainly planning on growth in 2012.”

Related End-User Markets:

blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Sustainability is Omnipresent

    Sustainability is Omnipresent

    Christine Esposito , Associate Editor||July 1, 2016
    Industry stakeholders convene in New York City for Organic Monitor’s annual event

  • Preserve & Serve

    Preserve & Serve

    Melissa Meisel , Associate Editor||July 1, 2016
    Suppliers with innovative preservatives provide staying power for formulations.

  • Quaternized Guar Is a Natural Solution

    Quaternized Guar Is a Natural Solution

    Tom Schoenberg, Schoenberg Consulting||July 1, 2016
    The polymer has applications in a range of skin and hair care formulas that does not build up on hair with repeated use

  • Long Term Sustainability In the Nonwovens Market

    Long Term Sustainability In the Nonwovens Market

    August 23, 2016
    Learn more at Cleaning Products USA, Nov. 9-11, 2016

  • Fro Yo!

    Fro Yo!

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||August 22, 2016
    Project Beauty dishes out Hairgurt, a line of vitamin-rich hair shampoos and conditioning masques.

  • The Butler Does It

    The Butler Does It

    August 15, 2016
    A new green cleaning product at your service.

  • Individualism IS The American Way

    Individualism IS The American Way

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||August 15, 2016
    Why blue hair and BB creams still thrill US consumers.

  • Red, Black & Blue

    Red, Black & Blue

    August 8, 2016
    No matter who wins the US Presidential election, Americans expect their finances to get bloodied and bruised in 2017.

  • Athletes, Not Objects

    Athletes, Not Objects

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||August 1, 2016
    Dove Unveils My Beauty billboard in Times Square.

  • Patent Update

    Patent Update

    July 28, 2016
    Three-layered hair product from Lauder, palm oil extracts for wrinkle treatment and more in recently awarded patents.

  • Enter Éclair

    Enter Éclair

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 5, 2016
    A new naturals line rolls out in Rite Aid stores nationwide.

  • What

    What's Next for the UK?

    Sarah Boumphrey, Euromonitor International||June 27, 2016
    Euromonitor weighs in on how Brexit could impact consumer product companies.

  • The Future of Innovation

    The Future of Innovation

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||June 27, 2016
    Fashion Institute of Technology graduate students tackle a far-reaching topic for their Capstone project.

  • Problems for Preservatives

    Problems for Preservatives

    June 20, 2016
    David Steinberg details the issues surrounding this critical ingredient category.

  • Exploring Green in Vegas

    Exploring Green in Vegas

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||June 6, 2016
    Cosmoprof North America sets the stage for brands dedicated to the growing and evolving eco-friendly beauty space.

  • We

    We're Surrounded!

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||May 30, 2016
    Industry experts explain the important role that the skin microbiome plays in human health.

  • Luxury Re-Coded

    Luxury Re-Coded

    Nancy Jeffries, Online Editor||May 25, 2016
    Consumers have new expectations for beauty.

  • Procter Reels in Doctors

    Procter Reels in Doctors

    May 16, 2016
    The Procter & Gamble stand was abuzz during the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.

  • If You’re Going to San Francisco…

    If You’re Going to San Francisco…

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||May 13, 2016
    Be sure to contact the Bay Area Beauty Association.

  • Kitchen Counter Cosmetics

    Kitchen Counter Cosmetics

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||May 2, 2016
    LOLI box marks the convergence of natural and organic ingredients, subscription service and DIY cosmetic chemistry.

  • Mapping Out Multicultural Beauty

    Mapping Out Multicultural Beauty

    April 25, 2016
    Agnieszka Saintemarie of Kline Group about current trends and challenges in multicultural beauty.

  • At a Loss for Curls?

    April 22, 2016
    Amplixin, a Miami-based maker of hair strengthening products, has a solution for hair loss.

  • Why Look Good, When You Can Look Perfect?

    Why Look Good, When You Can Look Perfect?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||April 4, 2016
    A new way to try-before-you buy is capturing the attention of consumers and the beauty industry.

  • From Greenville to Guangzhou

    From Greenville to Guangzhou

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||March 14, 2016
    South Carolina start-up BabyBlossom has big plans for its nontoxic baby products line...in China.

  • NYSCC Explores Product Innovation

    NYSCC Explores Product Innovation

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||March 14, 2016
    New product development, formulation expertise and proper preservation are topics of discussion at February monthly meeting.

  • Texture on the Runway

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||February 22, 2016
    Au Naturale by Dark and Lovely, Cantu, Creme of Nature, Design Essentials and Garnier create head-turning hairstyles.

  • A Frosch Start in the US

    A Frosch Start in the US

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||January 18, 2016
    A trusted eco-savvy German household cleaning brand is now available in America.

  • Perfect Timing

    Perfect Timing

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||January 11, 2016
    New ways of collecting data can help cosmetics companies understand what women really want—and when they want it.