Whayne Supply Co., a Caterpillar, AGCO and Claas dealer that has been in business for 104 years recently underwent a facility and brand renovation. “We’re a Caterpillar dealer; we serve construction, mining, power systems and many other markets. Ag was getting lost in our facilities,” says Richard Scott, vice president and general manager of Whayne Supply. “We’d have an ag counter you could come up to, we’d have an ag poster on the wall, we might have 4 or 5 pieces of equipment on the lot, but you didn’t realize you were pulling into an ag store. Inside we had very knowledgeable people focused on the ag customer, but you wouldn’t know it from the outside. So we wanted to change that perception. “The voice of the ag customer told us they wanted something different. We needed to create a separate identity to cater to the agriculture industry.”
The dealership completed its first store conversion 4 years ago at its Hopkinsville, Ky., location and worked with a design group through AGCO to design the new facility. “We felt AGCO also needed to improve their brand identity and we were pleased they wanted to work with us together to achieve the branch awareness we both felt was necessary. The results speak for themselves, it’s a fabulous store. There’s no question when you pull up to the branch that it’s an ag operation,” Scott says. “So, when we identified Mayfield, Ky., as an area we wanted to expand and build another ag store, we knew we wanted to go back and repeat the branding.”
Whayne purchased 2 buildings on 15 acres in Mayfield for the new store. “We tore the fronts off the two buildings and rebuilt them to have a very similar look and feel as the Hopkinsville store.” They are only about 85 miles from each other and Scott says they have quite a few customers who use both locations, so creating a unified look for both buildings was important.
“It’s very easy for customers to recognize that it’s Whayne Supply, even without the signage, it’s an AGCO dealership, an agriculture facility. It all goes back to brand identity, and that’s really where we started this process with AGCO helping us create that brand identity,” he says.
Ag Store Needs are Different
Having a stand-out showroom was essential for Whayne’s new ag stores. “Unlike the construction and mining business, we get a lot of walk-in retail business on the ag side,” Scott says. “Being able to utilize that showroom and have an immediate point-of-sale type of an environment was a big driver for us doing what we’re doing. Being able to display parts, tooling, a small tractor or attachment is also important. The branch design must be efficient too, making sure we have a good efficient layout between our service and parts departments.”
The Hopkinsville and Mayfield stores now have a common look that the dealership’s other facilities don’t have. “There’s a brand that we’re trying to create. The showroom is a real nice highlight because again that’s different than what we’ve done before. Within the next year or two, we will take the same branch identity plan to our Owensboro facility, another key ag location for us.
“Our other facilities, most built in the 1950s and ’60s, were designed with the construction and mining customer in mind. Very important customers to us; who didn’t have the need for a showroom. The ag and rental customers are different. It’s important we have a facility that meets their needs and a well laid out, viable showroom is what they prefer.”
The new stores in Hopkinsville and Mayfield have taken Whayne Supply from a dealership that carried farm equipment to a farm equipment dealership.