Do ever struggle to differentiate yourself from competitors?
My guess is that this is a constant struggle but one that is not addressed often by your marketing team. That’s because it’s not on their radar.
Perhaps it’s because they are too focused on the new product development processes you have in place and not listening to the critical input from customers.
When you listen to customers, you sometimes get an earful
The commercial interiors business at Owens Corning struggled to differentiate itself from competitors. Sales were architecturally specified and product driven. The product was designed to absorb echoes in school gyms and classrooms.
In making calls with the sales team, customers emphasized that schools demanded a high level of performance. And also that many architects were becoming increasingly sensitive to being as green as possible in their designs.
Turning a black art into a differentiator
Acoustics, however, was considered a bit of a black art.
Specialists were needed to figure out how much absorption a space needed. Surprisingly, we discovered that no one guaranteed the acoustical performance of their products, let alone have an independent third party determine their performance level.
This led us to successfully seek UL certification for all of our commercial interior products, a first for both the industry and UL.
Because Owens Corning was also the manufacturer of the base fiberglass boards the products were made from, we knew that those boards had a minimum of a 35% recycled content. This was enough to earn the product line a third-party certification (SCS), which would allow Owens Corning products to qualify for green projects.
Not all innovation is new product innovation
We combined these elements together with the standard 3-year warranty Owens Corning offered to create a program called Performance Marketing.
For the first time, our sales team had the ability to clearly position and differentiate our product line from the competition.
This not only increased sales but also allowed us to create a significant trade PR program around our efforts to demystify acoustical performance.
Innovation can come from anywhere in the company. It can be product innovation, process innovation or, in this case, program innovation.
All of which will help you be more successful in launching impactful products and programs to grow sales and profits.