I am asked frequently why Samtec, a connector company, has a tiger for a mascot? Isn’t it obvious? When I think of tigers, I think of connectors. Just like every time I see a praying mantis I think of a thermostat.
Seriously, there is a story behind how Samtec selected a tiger for its mascot. So I’ll take a break from writing about connectors and applications and share the story as it was passed down to me by the tribal elders years ago …
Samtec was founded on service. Our differentiator – the way we went to market – was to provide the best, most personalized customer service in the industry. This included the industry’s shortest lead times, next day shipment of samples, quick turnaround on quotes, prompt and thorough answers to questions, answering the phone in two rings or less, and quality products and people, to name a few.
This attention to service was also the main topic of most early advertising. The ads showed products, but they pushed old-fashioned service. It was called “Sudden Service,” and while the definition of service has evolved over the years, the commitment to service at the DNA level of the company is still here today.
And one more important detail … from its inception, Samtec’s company colors were orange and black.
As legend has it, in 1984, a representative from Samtec’s advertising agency was visiting from Chicago. He was working on a new advertising campaign, and after spending the day meeting with associates and seeing first-hand their dedication to customer service, he mentioned to a colleague that this place is “a different breed of cat.”
The phrase stuck. And since the company’s colors were orange and black, why not make that cat a tiger? It would represent speed, agility, quickness, and strength.
Samtec’s next advertising campaign, “Samtec Is A Different Breed Of Cat,” featured a tiger, and we’ve used the tiger in our advertising and Marketing efforts ever since. Our first tiger, named “Tessie,” was a two-year old female Bengal tiger. Every tiger we have used in our Marketing has been that breed, gender, and approximate age.
Today you’ll still see Tessie on our website, literature, at tradeshows, on shipping boxes, company presentations, and even sitting around the office. If you scroll up a bit and look to the right, you’ll see a subtle watermark image of Tessie on the Samtec blog.