5 Signs of Visionary Product Manufacturers and How They Avoid Extinction

Posted On: 
Aug 7, 2018
5 Signs of Visionary Product Manufacturers and How They Avoid Extinction

How does a building product manufacturer avoid extinction? As the marketplace changes from the age of the seller to the age of the customer, the rules of the game have dramatically changed. Only visionary manufacturers stand a chance of succeeding in the 21st century. What are the 5 signs of a visionary product manufacturer?

In his book The Age of the Customer, author Jim Blasingame discusses the marketplace evolution taking place. He argues that the Age of the Seller is coming to an end. The Age of the Customer started in 1993, the year that commercial use of the internet was unleashed. In 2018, we are in a transition phase and there are Visionary sellers and Hidebound Sellers.

Visionary Sellers

Blasingame lists 5 key factors that identifies Visionary Sellers. This progressive group is transforming their growth and capitalization plans to prepare for this new age. We’ll apply the 5 key factors to product manufacturers:

  • Visionary Product Manufacturers respond quickly to customer communication
  • Visionary Product Manufacturers organize quickly to respond to customer feedback
  • Visionary Product Manufacturers train their sales force to serve an increasingly informed, decisive, and empowered customer
  • Visionary Product Manufacturers recognize that strategies and brand messaging must align with user generated content
  • Visionary Product Manufacturers track and respond to rapidly changing customer expectations

How Manufacturers Avoid Extinction

Blasingame notes that Hidebound sellers will go extinct in the future. They are the dinosaurs of building product manufacturers. These old-timers die a slow, painful, expensive death. The bankruptcy results in lost jobs and broken dreams.

To become a Visionary Product Manufacturer, companies need to commit to Visionary behavior. Manufacturers need to respond to architects, engineers, interior designers, and contractors in a timely manner using modern means. Manufacturers need up-to-date websites with product transparency documentation, guide specs, and the ability for users to access information without any speed bumps.

The construction industry is transitioning to green building in every country on the planet. With LEED v4.1 on the horizon, manufacturers need to be prepared for significant changes. Manufacturers should have product documentation needed for specification such as a Health Product Declaration (HPD). Companies should train their reps about green building and have product reps take LEED Exam Prep to be able to talk with architects intelligently. How is your company planning for the Age of the Customer?

For more information or to discuss the topic of this blog, please contact Brad Blank