Customer Manufacturing Group
In This Issue



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10 Trade Show Mistakes

Influence more buying decisions. Collect more highly qualified leads. Launch new products successfully. Position each trade show as a serious sales and marketing event.


These are all good reasons for enhancing your trade show efforts. To make each trade show a success, you prepare, schedule, and coordinate everything within your span of control.


And when the show opens and everything is ready, your success . . . and the success of the show . . . is entirely dependent upon a group of people almost completely out of your control: your exhibit staff.


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Customer Manufacturing Update
May 2015

Dear Mitchell,


Here is your May Customer Manufacturing Update

This month's paper is about trade shows because many are entering that "season." For many companies trade shows are a significant investment of time and money with dubious, or at least unknown results.

Your Help Is Appreciated 

Many of you have a copy of one or more of our three books: It's Not Rocket Science; The Secret To Selling More; and Value Acceleration.


We would really appreciate you posting a review of any of these books on for us. To make it easy each title above is linked to the appropriate page on


Thank you in advance for your help. 


How Do You Eat An Elephant?


In the 1960s Crest became the defacto cavity fighting toothpaste due to their unique acquisition of the American Dental Association Seal of Approval. This helped them achieve greater than 50% market share. There are MANY reasons to brush your teeth, and Crest no longer has 50% market share. Each "reason" sliced away market share.


It is no different today except that you also don't need retail shelf space to take your piece. The big CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) companies have lost 1.6% market share to "elephant eaters" in the last few years. You may scoff at 1.6%, but it equates to about $10B in sales, which creates a number of profitable companies.


One of the weaknesses of big companies is that it takes large revenue to get their attention. If your idea is only worth $50M in revenue, it may not even get the attention of the assistant to the Associate Product Manager at a big CPG company, but it can create a very profitable business for an entrepreneur.


These small opportunities carve away at the "elephant." From a business strategy viewpoint, it reinforces the opportunity for companies to focus on ever smaller niches that can result in highly valuable products that are below the radar of big competitors. It has the further advantage that if it does become big enough to be on their radar, your company could then be an acquisition target for the big company; resulting in a nice pay-day.


Focus on building your market from small groups of customers not by trying to artificially segment a large market. 

What's In A Name?


Consider the Vegas Strip Steak. Cows have been cut up and sold as meat for a very long time. Some parts of the cow are more valuable than others. Steaks vs shoulder, vs rump, vs ground beef as simple examples. Finding ways to increase the value of more of the meat increases the profits to cattlemen.


Meat scientists look for ways to do that. Apparently, they have looked to find "tender pads of flesh" under the shoulder blades. This resulted in a new "steak" that sells for about $6/lb, or more than double its value as "hamburger."


That's all fine and good, but how do you get people to want to buy shoulder-blade steak? Simple, its name is brilliant: Vegas Strip Steak. Like NY Strip, only different.


While the meat scientists are excited to find useful "steaks," and I commend them for that, the name is the "deal maker." Obviously the steak has to be good, but that alone won't generate traction. But come on, a Vegas Strip Steak? Gotta try that, even if it "stays in Vegas."



Your People Aren't Usually The Real Problem


Most companies when faced with a need to grow revenue ultimately end up deciding to change people. They may change certain sales people, or they may try to hire a superstar from another company, or they may just change the VP or Director of Sales. These changes don't usually work any better than dropping the bottom 10% of your sales force each year has proven to not work. (If it had worked, Texas Instruments, which was famous for dropping the bottom 10% of its workforce every year, would be the hands down leader in the semiconductor business instead of an after-thought.)


Deming taught 50 years ago that people are not usually the problem, it's the process they work in that's the problem. I was reminded of this again by reviewing a brief history of the General Motors (GM) plant in Fremont CA, which is now the Tesla factory.


GM closed the plant in 1982 because it was one of the worst plants in the country. It's output included more defects and at higher cost than nearly any other US plant. Absenteeism at the facility was about 20% per day, and drug and alcohol abuse was rampant.


The plant was re-opened in 1985 as a joint venture between Toyota and GM, called New United Motor Manufacturing (NUMMI). Toyota ran the plant. 85% of the first workforce were previously employees of the GM facility, and they were still UAW members. Toyota sent 400 trainers from Japan to train the workers prior to the plant re-opening.


The new plant produced some of the highest quality, lowest cost cars in the US, and absenteeism had dropped to less than 3%.  Same people, different process.


Every process is perfectly constructed to produce the results it does. If you want different results, rather than keep changing people and hoping this time you'll get good ones, consider looking at the process in which you have them working.

Free Reading Guide

If you have a copy of our book Value Acceleration, you can download a free reading guide to help you and your team get the most from the book. (And btw, the book is also available in a Kindle edition.)

We appreciate your feedback to help improve these

Updates. If there are others you feel would benefit from this issue, use the Forward email link just below on the left.





Mitchell Goozé


Customer Manufacturing Group, Inc. 

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