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Case Study: Farm King Finds Success with Good Vibrations

June 12th, 2024 | 6 min. read

By Louis Greubel

The Farm King store logo is featured on top. The Good Vibrations logo is featured on the bottom.

As a buyer, you prefer as little guesswork as possible. You want to bring in tried-and-true products with a proven sales track record. Products that your customers will like. Products that will make you and your stores money.

As a manufacturer, HY-C understands that. We want you to purchase with confidence. We want you to feel comfortable buying from us. We want you to feel assured that our products are the right fit for you and that they’ll sell well in your stores.

One of our recent offerings includes a line of outdoor power equipment upgrades, all housed under a brand called Good Vibrations. We didn’t invent these products; we acquired the brand from its original creators, Dave Merten and Jay Muchin.

Dave and Jay had great pre-existing distribution relationships with a number of well-known retail chains. But after HY-C acquired Good Vibrations, we made it our mission not only to continue those relationships, but to break new ground as well, presenting Good Vibrations as a new offering to our network of vendor partners.

One such partner is Farm King, a Mid-States member with six retail locations spread across northwestern Illinois and southeastern Iowa. After onboarding Farm King as a HY-C sales partner, they decided to start selling Good Vibrations products and experienced some quick success.

We recently caught up with Farm King’s Good Vibrations buyer, John Vigezzi, and spoke with him about the products’ performance at his six locations. We asked John what he’s liked about the products, what Farm King customers have liked about them, and how they’ve been selling.

By the time you're finished here, you’ll have a good sense of how Good Vibrations products have performed at Farm King. With that information in mind, you’ll be one step closer to being able to decide whether or not Good Vibrations is the right fit for your stores, too.

How Did the Farm King/Good Vibrations Relationship Start?

The partnership began as partnerships so often do — with a cold call.

HY-C has had good, long-standing relationships with several Mid-States members. With a buying group like Mid-States, access to some typically means access to all, presenting several opportunities for salesmen like Justin Remmelts.

Justin is a veteran salesman who joined the HY-C team in November of 2023. Throughout his career, he’s focused primarily on the farm and home channel. One day, he decided to get in touch with Farm King’s buyers to see if they’d be interested in bringing Good Vibrations into their six retail locations.

HY-C's booth at the 2023 Mid-States Rendezvous show.

After beginning a correspondence, Justin and John Vigezzi met up at the 2023 Mid-States trade show (called The Rendezvous). John got to see the Good Vibrations lineup in person and ask questions about the products. Shortly after, the products were on Farm King’s shelves.

What Do You Think About Good Vibrations?

All of this leads to HY-C's June 10th, 2024 call with John Vigezzi. He’s had time to monitor how the line has performed at his stores, and as the manufacturer, we consider that information to be invaluable feedback. John was gracious enough to take some time out of his day to speak with us.

Right off the bat, things were positive.

We asked John what he likes about Good Vibrations, and he said, “I believe in the product. It’s been great for us — great for Farm King. And customers seem to love it.”

He said that he’s tried many of the products on his own, noting that he’s found them useful. He gave particular praise to the price points and the quality of the products.

Asked about which SKUs seem to be performing best, John highlighted two in particular: the Easy Rider Tight-Turn Steering Knob and the King Pin Quick-Connect Hitch Pin.

On the Easy Rider, John said, “The price point is good, and the quality is outstanding.”

He mentioned that he’s had experience with other steering wheel knobs that weren’t quite as well-made. “This one, though,” he said, “is durable, nice, and exceptionally easy to install.”

A quote from Farm King buyer John Vigezzi: “I believe in the product. It’s been great for us — great for Farm King. And customers seem to love it.”

Regarding the King Pin, John expressed even higher praise, saying, “It’s the best thing since sliced bread. It’s easy to use, sized to fit in multiple components, and it’s hard to lose.”

John’s comments come from experience. He emphasized that the King Pin is much simpler and easier to use than cotter pins, which is the exact reason why Good Vibrations founders Jay and Dave invented the King Pin in the first place.

We were thrilled to hear John’s positive feedback, and even appreciated his suggestion of adding additional colorways for some of the items. But as buyers and manufacturers both know, the true success or failure of a product all comes down to what customers think.

What Have Your Customers Thought About Good Vibrations Products?

John provided a smattering of positive customer testimonials about Good Vibrations during our call. And we were happy to hear each of them. But one stuck out in particular. And we’d like to focus on that one here.

John regularly visits Farm King’s six locations. As such, he’s become acquainted with many regular customers at each location. He told us about an older gentleman — a retired farmer who still tends to his land.

This customer had become accustomed to pulling a trailer behind his tractor to help expedite his daily land management routines. He’d been attaching his trailer to his tractor hitch by way of the small, tough-to-handle cotter pins mentioned earlier.

At his advanced age, this man’s hands are now stricken with arthritis, and he’d given up on pulling his trailer at all.

John was aware of this customer’s problem. When he was visiting one of Farm King’s locations, he ran into the man and showed him the King Pin. John told us that the man bought it on the spot. He’s now back to using his trailer just as he had been his entire life before.

Even the typing of this story elicits some undeniable emotion. As a manufacturer, you want your products to sell well so your company can thrive, you can pay your employees, and you can grow.

But what’s often forgotten in the daily shuffle of sales deals and marketing deadlines is the human element — the profound effect that a simple $15 hitch pin can have on the life of a man you’ve never known, but who you do know of now, and will certainly not soon forget.

That’s what matters to us at HY-C. That’s what we try not to forget. And those are the values we hope our buyers share: to make some money, sure. But also — and foremostly — to improve peoples’ lives with what we make and sell.

As far as we’re concerned, that’s the measure of success. And John was kind enough to let us know that together, Farm King and Good Vibrations have been meeting their marks.

How Have Good Vibrations Products Been Selling at Farm King?

As to how Good Vibrations has been bringing real dollars into Farm King, John didn’t mince words. “We’ve seen some really great sales,” he told us.

According to John, what’s been a particular help is the display rack that HY-C offers to customers interested in carrying Good Vibrations. When visiting Farm King locations ourselves, we were happy to see the racks had been picked clean; the products have clearly been selling.

Three side-by-side vertical images showing a Good Vibrations product display rack at a Farm King retail location.

When we asked if he believed this rack helped the product sell, John said, “Absolutely. Anything that’s freestanding and mobile is easy to cross-merchandise.”

This ease of mobility has allowed John to display the rack next to his ATVs for a while, followed by an additional stint over by his lawn mowers. He can monitor how many sales are made from each spot, allowing him to choose the position that drives the most dollars.

He’s also been impressed with how the products perform under stress. John often encourages his employees to take products home for themselves and really push them to the brink. He believes this experiment can be a sign of the quality of a product, and that Good Vibrations has passed the test handily.

A quote from Farm King buyer John Vigezzi: "I just put a reorder in. I’ve seen residual sales and increased sales."

Upon receiving his initial shipment, John also made sure to advertise Good Vibrations in Farm King’s print ads. He said, “This should be done by every buyer when you bring a new product in, or else no one will know that you have it.”

In all, things seem to be going well for Good Vibrations at Farm King. John said, “I just put a reorder in. I’ve seen residual sales and increased sales.” Included in that reorder is a classic Good Vibrations product that will be brand-new to Farm King: the Zero-Gravity Trimmer Strap.

How Do You Start Carrying Good Vibrations Products at Your Stores?

So far, the Farm King/Good Vibrations experiment has been a success. John’s belief in the products coupled with our partnership together has helped to bolster sales and make end users happy, too.

How the products perform in other stores depends on a number of factors: the level of commitment from buyers, the extent to which they advertise the products to their customers, where and how they display the products in their stores, and more.

But as this case has made clear, success is possible. And we’re willing to work with all of our sales partners to help them achieve that same level of success in their stores.

And if you’re still not convinced, John Vigezzi — a model buyer from a manufacturer’s perspective — has offered his time, insight, and guidance to any other buyer who may be interested in bringing the product in. If you’d like to speak with him, we’ll be glad to put you in touch.

Louis Greubel

Louis earned a bachelor's degree in English with a focus in rhetoric and composition from St. Louis University in 2017. He has worked in marketing as a content writer for over 5 years. Currently, he oversees the HY-C Learning Center, helping HY-C subject matter experts to share their decades of home solution products experience with homeowners and sales partners across the country.