Throughout the world there can only be a handful of companies who can claim the enviable distinction of being a “household name”. Some have even helped to rewrite the English Dictionary.
Although its trademark does not yet appear in the dictionary as a substitute for glue, the UHU company of Buhl (Baden), Germany, is most definitely a member of the handful.
The UHU story began as far back as 1905 when the company’s founder, August Fischer moved to Buhl and bought the Ludwig Hoerth chemical factory that was manufacturing such office materials as ink, stamp pads, typewriter ribbons, paints, paste and glue.
The big breakthrough for the company came in 1932 when August Fischer discovered a crystal clear adhesive substance made from synthetic which was capable of binding everything from paper and cardboard to wood, leather, cloth, porcelain and ceramics.
The new glue was not only strong in binding, it was also water-tight and resistant elastic, non-acidic and lasting. August Fischer had discovered the “all-purpose” glue.
The UHU, an eagle owl inhabiting the northern part of the Black Forest, became the company’s logo and, in time, a household name.
Over the years more and more new and innovative products have been developed and added to the UHU line of glues and adhesives, so that today the company can offer a comprehensive line of products to match virtually every bonding requirement.
A state of the art production facility in the company’s present factory monitors the high quality standards of the UHU programme. Which now features over 60 different products, including universal and special-purpose glues and adhesives, available in bottle, tube, stick and roller tape from, for the bonding of every imaginable material in the house, office or school.
The advance of Do-It-Yourself and model making, over the last decades, has helped the UHU company attack new and foreign markets. And aggressive marketing policy adapted by the company some years ago has resulted in substantial international success in the overseas markets previously dominated by other brands.
Market research studies confirm that the UHU name represents competence in the development and marketing of adhesives. Where other companies have stumbled and fell, UHU has stuck to its bold policies and gone from strength to strength.
Today, export orders at the Buhl factory account for over 50% of the company’s total annual production.
The UHU products are exported to over 80 different countries through the world and phrases such as “Don’t glue it-UHU it,” and “Don’t say glue say UHU” are as common in the English speaking countries of the world as “Im Falleeins Falles UHU” is in the German speaking countries of Europe.
The entire world-wide UHU adhesive business is managed from Buhl with about 500 employees. Managing Directors Kurt Wontorrs and Wilhelm Werhahn can be expected to yield further promising result for the UHU GmbH, which became an independent enterprise by a management buyout, effective, January 1990.
A measure of the company’s marketing success can be gained from the resource of a recent survey. Putting the question, “What is UHU?” to a broad section of the German public, the survey found that a massive 78% of those questioned answered immediately that “it was the all purpose glue in the yellow tube with the black writing”.
One has only to wonder how long it will be before an edition of the English Dictionary is published with the world UHU preceding UHF.
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