Weldtite might be 70 years old, but that hasn’t got in the way of its continuing moves into fresh territory. With new developments and accolades the firm has, appropriately enough, remained supple and ready for action – all while staying true to an impressive heritage.
Sales director Chris Jenkinson, assures BikeBiz those 70 years haven’t dented the firm’s original simple mantra: “Our philosophy has always been to create a complete bike maintenance range, whilst retaining the manufacture of our products in the UK wherever possible.”
UP TO THE CHALLENGE
Covering all areas of cycle maintenance including repair, lubes, cleaners and tools, Weldtite also provides product for the motorcycle sector.
In an increasingly crowded market, staying ahead of old and new competitors is an ongoing challenge, but one that Jenkinson says Weldtite is ready for: “There are always companies that are offering a new lubricant or cleaning product within their product portfolio, but only Weldtite has consistently produced a complete range of maintenance products under the one umbrella.”
Innovation and willingness to change remain key: “We are continually monitoring cycle maintenance developments and then responding to market demands by developing products using in-house personnel and production in our factory at Barton-on-Humber.”
Yes, Weldtite is one of those rare beasts that has retained a hefty product creation facility on these shores: “Weldtite is the largest manufacturer in the UK of all the maintenance lines we produce. Our in-house design department has also created a complete range of cycle-specific tools made for both the consumer and the professional which has made Cyclo the only British designed tool brand on the cycle market.”
High service levels have been a key consideration: “It is our heritage that the products we make are manufactured in the UK. This not only improves the service we can offer, but ensures all our products comply with EU regulation both for quality and specification,” Jenkinson reveals.
And while currency fluctuations have been hitting many firms where it hurts – margin – Weldtite has actually reaped the rewards of sticking to its guns. “We have certainly seen our repair business increase with many firms reverting to UK production for better service, price and availability.
“We export to 38 countries. All our international distributors are seeing an increased interest in British products, particularly in Australia, South Africa and Scandinavia.”
LUBE-ING ON UP
A recent success story for Weldtite’s is the TF2 line-up. Making up a quarter of its range, TF2 lubricants are pivotal to the complete maintenance process, says Jenkinson. With key products like the award winning aerosol spray at the heart of the range, TF2 products have rated first, second, third and sixth (out of 14 top selling lubes) in independent tests made by a top UK university.
“Weldtite has the European licence to use Teflon in our products, so when we originally developed the new lubricant brand we incorporated the TF of Teflon into the name. TF2 has now become a market leader for cycle lubricants, which led us to rebrand the whole lube category under the TF2 name.
“TF2 lubricants now offer a synergy between packaging and brand, offering retailers and consumers a range that is formulated to ensure the best possible performance and protection for your bike.”
Despite BikeBiz’s best efforts, Jenkinson remained tight-lipped on future ranges: “Unfortunately I cannot give away all our trade secrets, but behind the doors of the Barton Factory there are a new products to ensure Weldtite continues to lead in development and manufacturing.”
Jenkinson concluded: “There are any number of lubricants available in the market, but our mission is to ensure that when a consumer is looking to improve the life and performance of their bike they ask for TF2, safe in the knowledge they’ve bought a quality product from the only UK manufacturer of Teflon based lubricants.”
STUCK ON YOU
The importance of keeping brands fixed in the minds of consumers and retailers is paramount, and sponsorship continues to be a reliable way of achieving that – an essential process even when a product has already won prizes and accolades.
Jenkinson explains: “TF2 is an award winning brand leader, but it is important to keep the products in the minds of both the retailers and consumers. During 2009 in order to increase the awareness of the brands we are sponsoring more riders, attending more than 18 events throughout the UK and promoting retailer loyalty through our new partner programme.”
Clever print marketing also plays a key role: “People always remember the big green can, but by realigning the products into an easily understandable range with the same graphic image we are finding the sales of all the specialist lubricants have now increased.”