Customer Manufacturing Group
Customer Manufacturing Update )
Creating Competitive Advantage Through Marketing/Sales Process Improvement

August 2010
in this issue
  • Things are better ... but uncertain
  • What is Marketing?
  • We don't need no stinking brand equity!
  • Radio interview on lean thinking
  • Closing Thoughts
  • Dear Mitchell,

    Here is your August Customer Manufacturing Update. We've invited back guest author, Abe "Walking Bear" Sanchez who writes about his views on the current economic environment, and actions he believes managers should be taking ... now.

    If you have friends or colleagues who would appreciate receiving this Update, feel free to forward a copy to them using the "Forward e-mail" link at the bottom of the page.

    Things are better ... but uncertain

    Abe "Walking Bear" Sanchez, an internationally recognized expert in credit-based sales and A/R management, is an astute observer of life and business. His insights are unique, and this paper reflects some of his thinking.

    With Abe's gracious permission, in this month's white paper, we look at his ideas for dealing with today's economic reality.

    What is Marketing?

    Marketing is the most undefined word in business precisely because it has so many definitions, and too many business people and academics do not agree on the definition to use. For most people it is about the "back-end" of marketing, or the promotional side, because that is what is visible. And where most of the money is spent.

    The American Marketing Association's definition of Marketing is: "Marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational goals."

    The Chartered Institute of Marketing in the UK defines it this way: "Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating, and satisfying customer requirements profitably."

    We still like ours better: "Marketing's responsibility is to align the capabilities of the firm with the ongoing needs of its market(s)."

    What do you think? Feedback is appreciated as always.

    We don't need no stinking brand equity!

    Late last year, Safariland, a major player in the law enforcement market, and a maker of holsters and soft (concealable) body armor, bought a host of companies and associated brands that were owned by BAE Systems (formally British Aerospace). These purchased brands included some of the most revered in the law enforcement market: Monadnock (batons), Haitts (handcuffs), and so on. It wasn't long before Safariland sent word to the industry that they were shooting (pun intended) all of these brands and re-branding all of the newly acquired companies' products as "Safariland".

    Jaws dropped everywhere in this closely knit (but substantial) industry. Why would you kill off all the brand equity ... that you had just paid for? Why would you make it so difficult and confusing for all of the law enforcement agencies' purchasing decision-makers (who are first and foremost cops, and who don't have the time or interest to follow the business side of their suppliers' industry)? Brands in the law enforcement market (as in many industries) have a looooong shelf life; some (think of Smith & Wesson) have held a leading position for over a century.

    For that matter, why do banks always re-brand acquired banks (which had spent years building their trusted brand name in their communities)? There's has to be something going on here besides business sense.

    Because it doesn't appear to make any sense. After all, you still buy Gatorade, not Pepsi Sport Drink. But then Pepsico understands the value of brands.

    Radio interview on lean thinking

    Mitch was interviewed on radio about Lean Thinking. You can listen if you like. The link below should open with your default mp3 player.

    Closing Thoughts

    We appreciate any feedback you can provide to help us make sure these Updates give you value each month. Feel free to respond to this e-mail with any comments or suggestions for future topics or ways we can make these Customer Manufacturing Updates more valuable to you.

    Thank you for your interest, and if we can provide any additional assistance in sales, marketing, strategy, or innovation to help you increase your sales, let us know.

    Our mission is to help you improve the performance of your System to Manufacture Customers.

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