CASE STUDY: RS Components gets emotional with customers

Since the 1930s RS Components has been providing replacement parts for British industry, and today is a leading distributor of electronic, electrical and mechanical components, health and safety products and associated tools. The company has 135,000 products in stock at any time, and employs sophisticated stock handling and distribution systems to ensure next day delivery anywhere in the UK.

However, increasing competition has clouded the value that RS Components offers clients, with rival suppliers entering the market who are increasingly focusing on price instead of service. As a result, RS required a marketing programme to communicate its premium positioning.

Research was conducted into the supplier's extremely varied customer base, which ranges from maintenance men to inventors and industrial pioneers, with consequently widely differing requirements. Despite this disparity, the research showed that the high level of service and the 'dependability' provided by RS Components was essential to all customers. This dependability was identified as being more than 'rational'; it was also 'emotional'. In short, RS helped its customers achieve a sense of pride by enabling them to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.