Retail-ization

Industrial MRO Brand Development Represents Huge Opportunity for Value Creation

Brand investment is second nature to our friends in the B2C world. Consumer companies know they live and die with the value of their brands. But most industrial MRO companies continue to ignore the value of a good brand.

When times get tough, when sales don’t meet expectations—what’s the first budget that gets cut? If you’re company is like most, the answer is probably marketing.

Insert Scooby Doo “Huh?!” sound clip here.

I’ll never understand this. What’s the thinking? “Sales are down, so let’s turn off our customer acquisition engine? We’re not making enough money, so let’s ignore the very activity that drives growth?”

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Falling Out of the Ugly Tree and Hitting Every Distributor Branch on the Way Down

I visit MRO distributor branches more often than most. Some branches reflect vision and a passion for differentiation. But most MRO branches aren’t just plain—they’re just plain ugly. And insulting to their visitors. And dirty. And unorganized. The shelves are bare in many spots. The merchandise isn’t properly faced. (Nor has it been dusted in the last 20 years). The fixtures are a mish-mash. And signage is either non-existent or ham-fisted. (Note: Scrawling “ON SALE” with a lumber crayon on a piece of scratch paper does not constitute competent point-of-sale advertising.)

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IndustRetail?

Industrial products had some the ugliest packaging known to mankind. There was less than no thought put into naming and design--and we liked it! (Or bought it, anyway.) Now industrial products get the same scrutiny as consumer products. And those who understand how to package and present them like retail products are winning the day.

Industrial meets retail...or IndustRetail...is a fact of life now. So how have you met this trend? What are you doing to embrace the retail-ization of industrial products? 

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