McGarrah/Jessee Wins McCoy’s

The wait was long, but McGarrah/Jessee was finally named the winner of a review for the$3-5 million business of McCoy’s Building Supply Centers.

The San Marcos, Texas-based client had interviewed shops more than two years ago to select what would be its first branding agency.

But executives decided to postpone the selection until after a reorganization, which included new store formats and merchandising programs. The reorganization also involved the closure of about 10 underperforming store locations.

Having put their own house in order, the lumber and building supply company resumed its marketing plans in May.

“They called again a few weeks ago and said, ‘Let’s go!’ ” said Mark McGarrah, a founding principal of McGarrah/Jessee in Austin, Texas.

“After our first meeting two years ago, we felt they could be a great partner for us,” said Dan Stauffer, vice president of marketing at McCoy’s. “We want to take our brand in a direction that represents our strong values, and the work McGarrah/Jessee does demonstrates this as one of their strengths.”

McCoy’s, which operates 91 stores in six states, has annual sales of more than $460 million. The company’s business is strictly regional and focuses on smaller markets—such as Pine Bluff, Ark., and Waxahachie, Texas—which are outside the urban zones dominated by Home Depot and Lowe’s Home Centers.

“Basically we’re going to help them build that niche, and make their name and the way they do business stand for something unique,” McGarrah said.

McGarrah plans to extend the shop’s services into the operational area as well, similar to what it has done for Frost Bank of San Antonio. The agency has designed branches as well as advertising for that client, in a bid to control as many aspects of the bank’s image as it can.

The branding of Frost was “one of the reasons McCoy’s wanted to work with us,” McGarrah said. “The brand team can have an impact on the way the company actually does business … and that’s what McCoy’s is after as well.”

McCoy’s marketing budget is expected to increase from less than $1 million to the $3-5 million range as a result of the new branding push. Previous advertising was handled through a combination of in-house and freelance assignments.

McCoy’s was founded in 1923as a contract roofing company in Houston.