Business Strategy For The REAL World
Home > Portfolio > New Product


Mow Your Lawn In Half The Time!
Public Version of Wide-Cut Mower

Wide-Cut Mower
· 33” mowing width
· 8.5hp
· Macho drive wheels
· 4 speed plus reverse
· Zero-turning radius
· Low front deck
· Mulching cut
· Trim on both sides
· $1,250
· Proven faster and better than a riding mower!

   Innovation Ahead
       Of The Curve!

Beware of lazy market research! Users of current products often don’t know they want a new and better concept. (Electricity, telephones, and transistors initially met with a reaction of “huh?”)

In the case of this Wide-Cut mower, we had a good gut feel but no support from surveys. People just couldn't imagine it. Only after we demonstrated a working prototype and created the brochure did the public say, “Wow! I want one!”



New Product Brings $10 Million Per Year In Revenues

For Troy-Bilt/ Garden Way, we invented an entirely new concept in lawn mowing, then helped other departments develop and implement it into a $10mm/year profit machine.

The concept was simple: To create “The fastest lawn mower in town.” If you’ve seen one of those $2,500 commercial “run-behind” mowers that turn on a dime and zip under and around shrubs, you know what we mean. The two questions were:
· Can a home-user version of that be made for   half the price?
· Will anybody buy it?
With a $1,250 price being more than most riding mowers, experts doubted that people would buy a walking mower like this.

From Brainstorm To Boardroom
Conventional research was unable to give confident answers until a working prototype was made. So we invented one, using 95% of the parts from existing company products or other industry suppliers. It worked great; a short sales video was produced, showing its features and benefits; key department heads were given test drives.

One by one, departments from Marketing to Engineering got on board with the idea. But it wasn’t until a key executive meeting that the CEO gave the go-ahead after the Chief Financial Officer (a mild-mannered little fellow with a figurative green eye shade) said, “Wicker’s business plan looks good. We’ve got a working product design and it looks like it can sell. Let’s do it!”

Development accelerated. The prototype was greatly improved for ease of production and cost efficiency, market research confirmed that our gut feel had been right all along, and the company geared up for the launch. The “Wide-Cut” mower hit the market by storm and was soon bringing in over $10 million in sales each year.

This was a good example of how creative innovation and sound planning came together with excellent execution. The success was due to the teamwork of many departments and hundreds of people working together.

Footnote: The Wide-Cut earned an estimated $100,000,000 in sales through 2001, right up until the Garden Way company fell on hard times and its assets were sold to MTD of Cleveland. But you can still buy the Wide-Cut at your local MTD/Cub Cadet dealer. And we still have the original prototype out in our barn.

Back to more Portfolio Case Histories!
(Or go forward to Next Page to see Gold In The Filing Cabinet.)


Birth Of A Winner!
Concept Pile of Parts
From this pile of parts propped up on milk crates came the idea that would bring in millions in profits.

Working Prototype
The first working prototype was called “BigMow”. It was used as the photo model for the business plan, a sales video, market research, and personal demonstrations to executives.

Numerous departments and talented people then collaborated to bring it to production, where it was an immediate success.

Next Step to Profits
(518) 753-9528

Sherwood Marketing
A division of the Sherwood Farm Group
21 Sherwood Farm Way, PO Box 100
Johnsonville, NY 12094

2003-2014 Sherwood Marketing. All Rights Reserved

Web site hosted by: Intellisites
The Smart Choice For Web Design