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As They Expand National Promotions, Some Big Dealers Are Moving to Promote National Names

If Proctor & Gamble can do it, why not SRS Distribution and US LBM?

Launched as a family of brands, these two construction supply giants increasingly are touting their corporate names when their promotion goes coast to coast. Just in the past month, SRS became the exclusive U.S. sponsor of the Mexican soccer team Club de Futbol Monterrey Rayados, while US LBM's name now is part of the college football coaches poll, compiled weekly by USA Today.

SRS already is the sponsor of college football's Las Vegas Bowl, while US LBM sponsors a college basketball triple-header. SRS' name is attached to a names, images and licensing agreement for a Texas A&M quarterback, and US LBM's logo appears on the shirts of the Senior Pro Golf Tour's Bernhard Langer as well as two LPGA golfers.

These promotions of the SRS and US LBM names mark an evolution from the two companies' early years. Neither engaged in national advertising, but then neither was national in scope. Today, SRS has roughly 350 branches and US LBM 480, and each has dozens of divisions running under unique names. This can make life complicated for promotions, even when the companies want to cite their local units. For instance, an SRS invitation to visit at a trade show runs seven local units' logos all the way across the bottom of the ad. (See image below.)

There also are signs that some rationalization of divisional names is under way. Roughly 55 SRS stores have been rebranded or launched from the start as SRS Building Products and some names of acquired companies have been consolidated with continuing brands. US LBM hasn't done as much, but one of its recent moves was to gives its Connecticut properties a single name, East Haven & Ridgefield Building Supply.

Beacon has changed its local names to the Beacon logo, in part to make promotions easier. ABC Supply kept L&W Supply's name when it took over the drywall specialist, as did Builders FirstSource when it acquired Spenard Builders Supply, Dixieline Lumber and San Lorenzo Lumber when BFS merged with BMC. And another drywall giant, Gypsum Management & Supply, continues to keep a low corporate profile.

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