“In the past we treated merchandise as more of a promotional giveaway,” says Molly Reddish, category manager for John Deere brand licensing. “Now we look at it as a matter of if we are going to offer specific products, we want to build them. We’re at the point where we can offer differentiated product with the quality that reflects the brand.”
The Buntin Group, Nashville, Tenn., will now handle John Deere licensed product strategy. The company’s merchandise sales, which include hats, watches, golf umbrellas, and clocks, reached approximately $300 million last year.