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Tanisha Peten: “Excellent Customer Service ”

Consistency — It’s very important you maintain product quality and consistency so that customers instinctively know what they will get when purchasing from Garrett Wade. A quality tool, built to last, backed by amazing customer service. As part of our series about how to create a trusted, believable, and beloved brand, I had the pleasure to interview Tanisha […]

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Consistency — It’s very important you maintain product quality and consistency so that customers instinctively know what they will get when purchasing from Garrett Wade. A quality tool, built to last, backed by amazing customer service.


As part of our series about how to create a trusted, believable, and beloved brand, I had the pleasure to interview Tanisha Peten, the Chief Marketing Officer at Garrett Wade.

Tanisha Peten is the Chief Marketing Officer at Garrett Wade, the premiere destination for quality tools for the home and garden.

In 2018, Peten joined the Garrett Wade team following a consulting stint at Ascena brands where her time was focused on e-commerce development. With more than 20 years of digital commerce experience, Peten is credited as part of the teams who launched Express and Ann Taylor’s digital platforms.

Peten graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Retailing / Marketing Management. She resides in Orange, New Jersey with her daughter, fiancé and Yorkie.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

My earliest memories I have is playing store in my childhood room that my sister and I shared growing up. I would make elaborate visual displays at the annoyance of my parents and even create price tags for some of the “merchandise” I managed to pull out of my closets and toy chest. I had all the supplies necessary to run a successful shop: toy shopping cart and a cash register and would play this activity for hours simulating my mom’s shopping excursions she would take me on. I guess I always knew I would be a part of this industry in some capacity. However, I never dreamed it would take me here. Most days I still feel like I’m back in that bedroom just making bigger decisions but having just as much fun as I did then.

Can you share a story about the funniest marketing mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

There have been times when I’ve gotten a little too excited about an item and bought a little more than what my controller was comfortable to accept. Hello black plated Yankee Drill. We added a color variation of one of our best sellers — it turns out the market didn’t care.

However, when that item or idea doesn’t pan out as expected it is always key to be creative in making lemonade out of your lemons if and when that strategy turns sour. For example, while the new color was a dud, the original color versions sales took off!

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

We are all empowered by the owners to do what is right for our customers and in turn the business, which is what everyone works toward. How we exceed our customers’ expectations today is always in the back of our minds no matter the task we are working on. For example we continue to publish our 50 plus page catalog because our customers simply love it. Despite the business being driven today by our digital channels, our customers really appreciate the imagery and the stories of the tools we sell in printed form. One customer once told me they actually had a 15 to 20 year collection of our catalogues saved!

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

We recently finished a commemorative collection of tools that we have had in existence since the founding of the company. Looking back through our archives and coming up with ways to give new life to these heirloom tools, while celebrating our past was such a fun project. What is so unique about the Garrett Wade brand is that over the last 45 years we’ve had incredible longevity with our customers — some from when we first launched, so we’re excited to introduce this to them as a bit of a retrospective.

Ok let’s now jump to the core part of our interview. In a nutshell, how would you define the difference between brand marketing (branding) and product marketing (advertising)? Can you explain?

Branding is what a brand represents — its mission and purpose, whereas advertising is marketing that presentation, product and or service.

To put it in perspective — our branding is focused on our philosophy of finding and bringing the consumer unique tools of exceptional quality and superb design that will improve your work. This is brought to life through our marketing programs such as our catalogue, product videos and social platforms.

Can you explain to our readers why it is important to invest resources and energy into building a brand, in addition to the general marketing and advertising efforts?

Garrett Wade has a distinct voice within the market and because of that, we work incredibly hard to make sure that the products we offer are exclusive to us and tell a story that consumers can connect with.

Today, the global economy is a lot smaller and very accessible to digital savvy customers, which is why our product development team spends so much time sourcing and developing one-of-a-kind high-quality tools for our customers, and why we prioritize telling the story behind the tools and makers.

We know everybody has choices in where they buy their tools, however, when you buy from Garrett Wade you aren’t just buying an excellent tool — you’re supporting small makers from around the world that understand quality over disposable.

Can you share 5 strategies that a company should be doing to build a trusted and believable brand? Please tell us a story or example for each.

Unique & Quality Merchandise — Our goal is to offer an assortment of tools that are exclusive to us. We travel across the globe to find the best makers in the world from multi-generational businesses and small companies to provide unique and quality tools that are often only available to professionals. We also prioritize our relationship with our factories which has led to us uncovering some hidden treasures — such as our Vintage French Cooking Knives, which were tucked away and were made generations ago!

Excellent Customer Service — We pride ourselves on going above and beyond for our customers as we want to be there every step of the project, if necessary. We have an amazing technical team that helps customers troubleshoot or simply ask questions they might have on the tools in our assortment. A happy customer is a repeat customer.

Speak Authentically — At Garrett Wade we prioritize honesty in our communication with our customers. We want a customer to understand the history and the use of our tools — even if that means not buying something. Often it takes the form of long product descriptions — something that has long since disappeared in the age of Instagram & Twitter copy. Just reading through our catalogs and website you will not only learn about the tool but the stories behind how they came to be in our assortment.

Personalization — We try very hard to make sure our brand is accessible, and our tool range is broad to meet the vast individual needs. The result is an extensive offering for a relatively small company — which is no easy task. But personalizing Garrett Wade to a gardener versus a woodworker is very important to us and we are constantly looking for ways to do this effectively, all while being authentic.

Consistency — It’s very important you maintain product quality and consistency so that customers instinctively know what they will get when purchasing from Garrett Wade. A quality tool, built to last, backed by amazing customer service.

In your opinion, what is an example of a company that has done a fantastic job building a believable and beloved brand. What specifically impresses you? What can one do to replicate that?

NIKE. The brand has been able to build this empowering connection with their audience — they make amateurs feel like they are professionals by just owning a piece of the gear.

Because of this, their audience really feels like they are part of the brand story and ultimately their successes and achievements. Buy from us and we will be there to help you succeed.

In advertising, one generally measures success by the number of sales. How does one measure the success of a brand building campaign? Is it similar, is it different?

Customer Acquisition & Retention — We measure the success of a brand building campaign by the percent of customers who come back to purchase from us again, as well as how many new customers we are adding to our audience. Looking at the acquisition and retention in our campaigns lets us know how well we are resonating with our customers and how they feel about how we are delivering on our promise to them.

What role does social media play in your branding efforts?

While our demographic is a bit older, social media still plays a significant role in our branding efforts. We are constantly encouraging dialogue with our audience to share what they have been working on and the level of performance of our tools. Our social platforms are used to inspire others and help build a community of makers to keep honing their skills to make great things.

What advice would you give to other marketers or business leaders to thrive and avoid burnout?

I try to find inspiration and allow myself time to think about the business outside of the office. Stepping away from my desk and just allowing myself to breath and ponder what’s our next move we should be making to keep business growing and evolving?

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I really want to amplify small makers who are making quality tools.

Right now, there are so many small businesses that are hurting and ones that don’t get the proper recognition in the marketplace. These makers — whether they are small businesses, or companies led by BPOC, deserve an opportunity and at Garrett Wade we’re dedicated to providing a platform for the makers who take pride in their work and create the best in class tools.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Laugh and the world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone” — Ella Wheeler

We are blessed that very prominent leaders in business and entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you would like to have a lunch or breakfast with? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I’d like to do brunch with the following: Bozoma Saint John, Marvin Ellison and Jide Zeitlin.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

You can follow us on Instagram at @garrettwade_tools

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garrettwadeco

On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/GarrettWadeCo

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

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