Insights

Leatherman: Five Years of Success on Amazon

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This week, we’re celebrating five years of partnership with Leatherman. Leatherman is the world’s first and most iconic pliers-based multitool brand with a rich and colorful brand history that stretches back more than 40 years. They also happened to be headquartered right in our home area of Portland, OR, which has led to some great collaboration between our teams punctuated by field trips and onsite work sessions.

We’re honored to have played a part in Leatherman’s history by representing them on the Amazon marketplace. These last five years have created a very rewarding partnership with many successes. Here are a few of the highlights.

 

Building a foundation on Amazon

Like many brands, Leatherman initially faced challenges with the way it was being represented on the Amazon marketplace. Many of those challenges came in the form of unauthorized sellers and brand policy violations.

“There was a lot of confusion of how our product was represented on Amazon,” said Steve Siebers, Leatherman’s Marketplace Platform Manager. “There were a lot of unauthorized Amazon sellers, and even if they were authorized, there were just a lot of violations from what we wanted as a brand and how we wanted to be represented on Amazon.”

Uncontrolled representation is one of the most common issues brands deal with on Amazon. Practically anyone can open a seller account, and sellers aren’t obligated to follow a brand’s marketing or minimum advertised pricing (MAP) guidelines, which is why violations are so common. If left alone, violations on Amazon can lead to price erosion, damage brick-and-mortar relationships, and subtract from hard-won brand equity.

Netrush helped Leatherman gain control on Amazon by enacting a comprehensive brand protection strategy. Brand protection enables brands to take control at both the distribution and marketplace levels; it starts with building a strategic foundation through policies and rolls over into continuous violation monitoring and management.

“We’ve really cleaned up our distribution on Amazon,” said Siebers. “And Netrush was key to getting that done. We collaborated often with Netrush on how best to represent our brand on the platform.”

 

Launching and relaunching products

Over the years, Netrush has played a leading role in a handful of Leatherman product launches, including the Wave, the launch of the limited edition Stars & Stripes Wave Plus Multitool and the US relaunch of the Rev Pocket Size Multitool.

 

Launching the Stars & Stripes Wave Plus

Leatherman is a personalized brand that offers its customers a lot in the way of customization. Many of Leatherman’s products can be customized through its D2C website’s Custom Shop functionality, but there are less customization options available on Amazon.

Netrush approached Leatherman with the idea of expanding some of that customization to the online marketplace. Our design team worked with Leatherman on a concept, and the end result was the Limited Edition Stars and Stripes Wave Plus Multitool.
 

The launch of this customized tool was a huge success that continues to outsell forecasts.

 

US relaunch of the Rev

Leatherman’s Rev is a pocket size multitool that offers premium manufacturing quality at a slightly lower price point. While the Rev had previously been available internationally, it wasn’t initially available in the US. That changed last year when Leatherman made the decision to re-introduce the Rev in the US and gave Netrush the opportunity to manage the launch on Amazon.
 

Netrush launched the Rev on Amazon in June of 2020, and over the next six months, our team was able to exceed the sales target by 40%.
 

It’s been really successful, sometimes to the point where we can’t build them fast enough.

Steve Siebers, Leatherman’s Marketplace Platform Manager

 

Working together through the initial shock of the pandemic

Early 2020 was a tough time for both brands and retailers alike. As COVID-19 began to pick up in the US, Amazon’s supply chain came under a lot of pressure, and the retailer made the decision to limit FBA injection to essential products only.

When that happened, our team worked quickly with Leatherman to keep their Amazon presence up and running. Despite the year’s challenges, our team finished out 2020 with 14% year-over-year sales growth and delivered a high-performing Q4 with a 30% sales increase year-over-year.

 

Maintaining a close partnership

 

I’ve always been thoroughly impressed with everyone I’ve worked with at Netrush, from their CEO down to our Brand Manager. I always feel like everyone on their team is willing to help, and there truly is a common goal between our two companies.

Steve Siebers, Leatherman’s Marketplace Platform Manager

 
At Netrush, we strive to match the passion our partners have for their own business. We share goals, successes, and challenges, and that’s the way a partnership should be. Working with Leatherman has been a hugely rewarding experience for our team, and our continued success over the last five years is a great example of what a close partnership can achieve.