I was checking Home Depot website pricing on Milwaukee Packout tool boxes, to see if they were at holiday season discounts yet, and found a new “The Home Depot Innovation Award 2019” badge on all Milwaukee Packout tool storage products.
A great majority of Milwaukee Packout tool boxes and organizers came out in previous years, and so it’s curious that they received Home Depot’s Innovation Award this year and not earlier. I wonder if Dewalt ToughSystem tool storage products were also in the running.
Looking around some more, Home Depot also gave a 2019 Innovation Award badge to Dewalt Atomic cordless power tools.
Earlier in the year when Dewalt Atomic cordless power tools were first launched, Home Depot described them as their “exclusive.” You can now find Atomic cordless tools at other online dealers, but not at Home Depot’s major competitors, with the same true about Milwaukee Packout tool boxes.
If I recall correctly, Makita’s sub-compact tools won a Home Depot Innovation Award last year.
Yes, indeed they did – here’s an image from Makita’s press release on the matter from last year.
So, if Milwaukee Packout products were given an award this year, does that mean Makita’s sub-compact line was still in the running and lost against Dewalt Atomic? Were only 2019 releases in the running?
What conclusions could be drawn from this? What conclusions will Home Depot shoppers come to?
Were any other cordless power tool systems in the running for Innovation Award Finalist spots?
Home Depot also gave a 2019 Innovation Award badge to Husky welded steel garage storage products. As you might know, Husky is a Home Depot private label brand, meaning you can only find Husky tools at Home Depot.
Ah, I found a press release where Home Depot discusses these products and several other “finalists.”
“As the product authority in home improvement, we are proud to recognize the most innovative products on the market through our annual innovation awards ceremony,” said Ted Decker, merchandising executive vice president for The Home Depot. “Every day, we work closely with our supplier partners to bring to market products that deliver high quality and value, save our customers time and provide ease and convenience to complete their home improvement projects.”
RYOBI earns Marketing Innovation Partner of the Year for creating a cross-functional program leveraging its platforms to better deliver the most relevant product and message to customers.
Ryobi is another brand that you will only find at Home Depot, although at least some marketing seems to be handled by TTI North America. Ryobi does do a great job at marketing, and so the recognition seems well-earned.
Ah, there are some words about how/why the finalists won Innovation Awards. (Non-tool-related brands and products are omitted for brevity.)
In addition to the top three winners, The Home Depot recognizes these finalists for their top marks in product innovation:
- DEWALT Atomic 20V Compact Series offers battery compatible platform from drivers to saws to screwdrivers.
- Husky Welded Garage Cabinets by Hyxion organizes and offers ample garage storage to maximize space and fight clutter.
- Milwaukee Packout Tool Storage features a stacking design and integrated dolly for durable, weatherproof jobsite conditions.
Home Depot also says:
Look for the Innovation Award Seal, designed to help customers identify and select best-in-class products, in stores and online.
Home Depot could be clearer about what any of this Innovation Award business entails, but I do agree these are stand-out products.
In other news, ToolGuyd recognizes the following ToolGuyd.com articles as finalists for “outstanding tool coverage” awards. I jest, but at the surface that’s what the awards looked like to me, at least at first. Well, while we’re at it, here are some other ToolGuyd posts for your reading pleasure:
Home Depot’s Innovation Award program is opaque, but I’d think most customers will treat it as a sort of “featured brand” or “featured product” type of business partner accolade. Right? Would anyone bat an eye if the badge was different and said “featured products?”
Home Depot wants our business, and with these awards it seems they’re trying to steer customers towards specific brands and products. But doesn’t this happen all the time with retailers? Is this any different from how some brands and tools are positioned in the front of Home Depot retail stores during special sales and promos? Honestly, I’m not sure if this is a rhetorical question or not.
I can also appreciate that it seems Home Depot’s behind-closed-doors process was at least selective. They *could* have given awards to all of their major tool brand partners, but they didn’t.
I’m not sure why, but I feel more accepting of Home Depot’s awards over other programs. Is it because here you KNOW what Home Depot’s motivation is (to sell more tools), while a lot of other awards programs require paid entries and seem to give out awards to unreleased products based on what’s said about them on sell sheets?