Gutter cleaning may not be fun but finding ways to make it easier sure is. We’ve embraced this as we’ve built the Gutter Sense brand over the last year. In May 2021, we unveiled a new logo, launched a new website, produced two polished videos, and expanded our social media presence.
Why? It was the right moment for a new chapter in Gutter Sense’s history. The prototype that would become Gutter Sense was first developed in 2002 by inventor Robert Segal. Bob was gifted with his hands and imaginative mind. In addition to creating the Gutter Sense gutter cleaning tool, he was a talented sculptor. Bob exhibited his art at juried art fairs throughout the United States. Also, he worked in various jobs that developed his mechanical aptitude and creativity. This included roles as a welder, machinist, mold fabricator, and commercial sculptor. Bob put all his talents to work in creating Gutter Sense. He saw it as a simple tool to solve the problem of cleaning gutters from the ground safely and effectively. Marketing, however, proved elusive. Yet, Gutter Sense built a modest following over the first 20 years of its existence.
A FAMILY BUSINESS
Several years ago, my daughter Paige and I became Gutter Sense sellers. As a family that shares an entrepreneurial spirit, we were looking for an opportunity to build and run a small business together. In 2020, we had the chance to acquire the Gutter Sense business and run its operations. Ultimately, this was our chance to give the company its long-deserved and much-needed marketing makeover.
Home repair and maintenance isn’t a sexy business category. But it’s a big market, and we knew we had a tool that made one of its most dreaded chores easier. The secret sauce was putting together the various pieces into an effective whole. And we needed to develop a digital-first strategy, as the pandemic accelerated the transition to online shopping started by Amazon. As we know, most of us reach for our phones to start shopping for anything, whether it’s groceries or gutter cleaning tools.
BUILDING A BRAND
Authenticity is one of the key pillars for a brand. Having it means you are true to your values and vision, and that you deliver something that makes customers’ lives better. And being authentic was a priority as we built the Gutter Sense brand. We wanted to tell the story of the invention while also sharing with customers that our vision is bigger than a pair of tongs you use to clean gutters.
Really great brands sell more than things—they sell an aspirational state. To us, Gutter Sense’s aspiration is about safety and freedom. No one really wants to clean the gutters, but if you can get it done quickly and safely, you can go on to do the things you really want. This message is central to the Gutter Sense brand. We also wanted to create a brand that was inclusive, especially because cleaning gutters has traditionally been considered a “honey-do” chore the husband does. Anyone can use Gutter Sense, though, and it’s empowering to take on this task and do it well.
BRINGING THE GUTTER SENSE BRAND TO LIFE
Every detail of our new site was designed with our users—customers like you—in mind. The site’s design is clean with easy navigation, and it’s mobile-friendly. With the new site, we’ve also made some changes to how we sell Gutter Sense. Our ultimate rain gutter cleaning tool is available directly from the site via our e-commerce integration. Before, the Gutter Sense site was purely informational. As a result, you had to order the tool on Amazon or eBay. However, we all know how busy life can be, so being able to order right from our site is ideal.
We’ve also put personality into our content, from writing blogs with fun puns and helpful tips to sharing our family’s entrepreneurial spirit through the Gutter Sense brand.
Everyone asks us, “How do you use it?” As we’ve discovered, written instructions aren’t always enough, especially if you’re one of those people who needs to see how things work. So, we created a short, two-minute video that explains everything you need to know to use Gutter Sense. It’s fun and approachable and covers everything from opening the package to locating the supports and grabbing gunk out of the gutters.
We also made a short intro video. See them both on our YouTube channel.
THE GUTTER SENSE BRAND: MADE IN THE USA
We’re proud that Gutter Sense is made in the USA. We source all components and labor locally for our Chicago-area business. This means everything from the nuts and bolts to the pull rope, monofilament, insert cards, polybags, and injection-molded tongs. Lastly, each tool is assembled locally.
This was an important aspect of our brand story, especially because over the last couple of years we’ve seen such a growing emphasis on “shop local” and the importance of supporting small businesses. Gutter Sense is a small, family-owned business. It’s my daughter Paige and me at the helm as well as behind the scenes. We’re passionate about entrepreneurship, innovation, and the “aha” products that make people’s lives easier and more enjoyable—and we hope you can see this in our brand.