W.W. Grainger Marketing Strategy

By John Dudovskiy
August 19, 2020

W.W. Grainger marketing strategy was traditionally limited to its famous product catalogues and print and media advertisement. The company CEO D.G. Macpherson admitted in 2019 that marketing was a new skill for the global industrial supply company, but the company was learning very quickly.[1] The necessity for improvement of Grainger marketing strategy is fuelled by intensifying competition in general, and competition from Amazon business in particular. Grainger’s total advertisement expense totalled to USD316million, USD241 million and USD187 million for 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively.[2]

Grainger unique selling proposition is associated with extensive range of MRO products and deep knowledge of company’s sales force regarding main product categories. Moreover, competitive advantages of industrial products distributor include advanced customer services and omni-channel sales strategy.

Grainger 7ps of marketing has traditionally focused on product element of the marketing mix to a greater extent compared to other elements. The B2B distributor boasts an extensive product range that includes about 1,7 million types of products supplied by about 5000 suppliers worldwide. [3] Starting from a few years ago, however, Grainger marketing strategy had to change to a certain extent to increase its focus on the price element of the marketing mix.  Specifically, due to the increasing threat from Amazon Business, Grainger had to cut profit margin in 2017 to decrease the prices of many products.

Segmentation, targeting and positioning practices is an integral part of Grainger marketing strategy and the B2B distributor pursues multi-segment type of positioning. Specifically, the industrial supply company appeals to MRO products needs of all types of customers – small, large and medium. The company targets small and medium businesses through Zoro and MonotaRO websites, whereas large customers with more complex needs are targeted via maintaining face-to-face direct relationships with numerous Grainger sales force representatives.

W.W. Grainger Report contains the above analysis of W.W. Grainger marketing strategy. The report illustrates the application of the major analytical strategic frameworks in business studies such as SWOT, PESTEL, Porter’s Five Forces, Value Chain analysis, Ansoff Matrix and McKinsey 7S Model on W.W. Grainger. Moreover, the report contains analyses of W.W. Grainger leadership, organizational structure and organizational culture. The report also comprises discussions of W.W. Grainger business strategy, ecosystem and addresses issues of corporate social responsibility.

[1] How Grainger says it will grow its market share (2019) Digital Commerce, Available at: https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/2019/05/22/how-grainger-says-it-will-grow-its-market-share/

[2] Annual Report 2019 (2020) W.W. Grainger

[3] Annual Report 2019 (2020) W.W. Grainger

Category: Marketing