When a solo manufacturer’s rep needed to open new doors, the right branding brought his expertise to the table.
By 2010, Buddy Baum had been in the kitchen business for more than 40 years and a manufacturer’s rep for 20.
After a health glitch complicated his recovery from a major car crash, it would have been easy to write him off as just another has-been.
But even while he was recuperating in hospitals and rehab centers, he was identifying needs in the market – and still working, writing up cabinet bids for his best customers from a laptop in his room.
When he could get to his next industry event, it was in the depths of the Great Recession, and he still didn’t look completely healthy. Buddy knew he’d need to make an impression on the new people he’d meet.
A new identity.
Featuring design and production values that rivaled most manufacturers’ materials – his foldover business card worked like a mini-brochure. At more than one booth, cabinet manufacturers agreed to meet only after seeing his card and reading the copy.
He came back from the show with several prospective cabinet lines to represent and landed Mid-America Cabinets in Arkansas. By fall 2010, he and Mid-America had won a 192-unit apartment complex in the city of St. Louis, MO, plus the community building. Nobody realized at the time that job would be the only major project anyone would do in the industry for more than a year, within a radius of 300 miles.
Buddy’s branding expanded to include a site (now offline with his passing) that featured video of the first truckload of cabinets as they arrived at the 192-unit jobsite. The site was one of the first we built on WordPress and showcased nearly two decades of cabinetry delivered – and a few last residential kitchens designed, the work of Buddy’s wife, Jean.