Stihl is the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of chain saws, with annual sales exceeding $2 billion. With innovations dating to its 1929 invention of the gasoline-powered chain saw, the company holds over 1,000 patents related to chain saws and outdoor power tools. The company’s chain saws, leaf blowers, and hedge trimmers sell at price points well above competing brands and are sold only by its network of over 8,000 independent dealers. The company boasts in its advertisements that its products are rated number one by consumer magazines and are not sold at Lowe’s or Home Depot. How does Stihl’s choice of distribution channels and advertisements contribute to its differentiation strategy?
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