Adding a new color to our line
Recently we were deciding whether or not to add a new perfect touch solid color that matches Arauco to our line. A team mate asked "Well why don't we add 3 colors instead of just one to enhance our chances". Below was my response.
There are 5 criteria I'd add to deciding on a new color.
1. Board matching. When we match boards it is tapping into an existing market created by having the edgebanding, board and thermofoil all in coordination. We look at the distribution strength of that board company as well as the quality of the match.
2. Cross pollination. For a solid color there may be already matches in the market , however, if there are other matches it won't necessarily hurt our sales. In reality the more people out pushing a color the more likely demand for that color will rise. In addition, some door makers may prefer to deal with Dackor and some may prefer to deal with a competitor.
3. Cash flow. If we invested into 3 colors it may be better to do one right. The reason is that we can fully commit to that color and unlike many competitors, we are less likely to discontinue an item. In addition we are not spreading out the investment across more colors to see what sticks but instead on good matches when we can that are in demand, especially for board matching stock colors.
4. Operations. When we add a new color it involves warehouse management, samples, marketing , sales management and other operational people. Lots of people get tapped whenever we add a new color .
5. Sales. The more colors we have the more our efforts are spread over those items so it can become a distraction to push an item that does not have the overall marketing legs.
Peelstix for Multi-Family
This article will discuss the process which Peelstix is sold to multi family apartments .
As we know, when apartments and cabinets are installed they use new cabinetry. The cabinets can be made local or off shore and then imported. Within new construction of cabinetry our product may be used for the doors however for the cabinets its more common that paper or melamine board be used for the cabinet sides. The reason is due to cost and secondly Peelstix main benefit is that it is used to refurbish cabinet boxes, hotel doors, etc. Peelstix saves money when remodeling however in new cabinet construction typically is not cost beneficial in multi-family.
In multi-family, the owners typically hire a design firm although some developers do design in house. Dackor raw 3D and 2D films may be specified in new construction however it then goes out to bid by a cabinet company to win the job. In this case the Kitchen cabinet company may contact Dackor to find a door maker if this Kitchen manufacturer does not have a membrane or vacuum press in house.
MULTI FAMILY REMODELING:
When apartments wish to remodel, the property manager may seek out approval from corporate to do new cabinetry. In this case the firm could use a designer however often the property manager will decide to get bids from cabinet companies to rip out and install new cabinets, countertops, etc.
With Peelstix, the idea is to educate the property manager on the benefits of refacing instead of having a traditional kitchen company bid out the remodel.
The benefits are:
- Less down time as a kitchen can be done in one day for an apartment
- Less dust and debris since not tearing out the existing boxes
- No smell or harmful VOCs that can be incurred by painting.
- Less cost since the existing boxes can be reused, possibly the countertop can be kept in place
- Less cost due to less dumpster fees, no electrician needed, no plumber needed and no drywall repair or tile repair needed that would normally be associated with a complete tear out
We mentioned above that cabinets may be replaced but that it takes more time, has more dust but also costs more. One other option is to paint the cabinets. Painting has different levels of quality however the biggest complaint in painting is that its often a temporary solution. Painting the doors that are handled by the tenants can sometimes not hold up. In a residential a more quality paint job could be done however usually this level of painting is not cost effective for multi family.
It should be noted that some companies when wanting to do white may opt to spray the boxes white and then simply buy new doors that will more hold up to the rigors of having tenants. Some challenges may be:
- Having to deal with both a painter AND a company to hang the new doors
- The smell created by painting as well as the time to set up to tape off the area
The main purpose of Peelstix films, accent planks and Natura Stone are to resurface existing surfaces. The nature of Peelstix is that it adds value by going over existing surfaces. Refacing is a cost effective solution that has the quickest turn around and causes less disruption for the tenants.
Did your 3DL color get discontinued?
by Matt Arriola
Does it drive you crazy when you go to order a thermofoil color from a vendor only to find out it has been discontinued and now requires a large custom order? Often these custom orders can be 3,000 or even 5,000 meters. Although we cannot guarantee to not discontinue an item, Dackor is the leading company on maintaining stock.
But aside from our 250 plus stock items that we maintain for our clients, Dackor has a great custom program to enable you to switch more and more colors over to our company.
You can go to www.Dackor.com/colors and look for a very close or close match first or contact your Account Managers at 407-654-5013 to do the searching for you. In addition you can visit https://www.dackor.com/custom and input your image right on our site.
What if you need to color match?
STEP 1: INQUIRE > Fill out this form and we will let you know within 2 business days or less if we are capable of your required match quality. Please note that if we have the tooling our MOQ is 600 linear yards for melamine matches (in distribution) or leathers or 1200 yards for all others.
STEP 2: MATCH? Within 2 business days we will confirm match capabilities. You can then issue a PO for $500 color match deposit which is fully credited upon order. Matches take 4 to 6 weeks and you will receive a lab sample.
STEP 3: EVALUATE ! After you receive the match and approve simply issue a PO for the agreed quantity and await 10 to 12 weeks for the material to be available , FOB, Orlando. This can be expedited 4 to 6 weeks by air for an additional fee. We will typically produce 2,000 to 3,000 yards at our discretion for back up inventory. After the initial PO and MOQ you may order from remaining stock as needed.
Color match request form
Inquire> | Match? | Evaluate!
Examples of Recently discontinued 3D Laminate colors in the marketplace.
Ebony Ash, Light Maple, Black Haircell, Antique Whitewash, Russian Maple, Soprano, Sugarloaf Maple, Matte Black, Matte Malachite, Matte White, Oxidized Pewter, Platino Granite Sand, Platino Granite Tanin, Pompeii Marble Espresso, Pompeii Marble Gray, Rift Oak Brown, Rift Oak Gray, Carbon Fibers Silver, Fibers Concrete, Cashmere, Fusion Maple, Imperial Smoke, Rift Oak Natural, Slate Gray, Smokehouse Oak, Stratus White, Tin Ceiling and Venus Silver.
Refacing your Kitchen
When refacing your residential kitchen there are various options when utilizing Dackor materials. The first question is if you are looking to change the layout drastically. In most cases where you want to significantly replace the layout of the Kitchen you will go with new cabinetry. If, however, you are OK with the layout refacing can save you thousands. Once you have decided to reface there are various other decisions to make. Some decisions are:
-Should I replace the countertop?
-What style doors do I want? Slab, Shaker or Raised Panel
-Do I want soft close hinges on the doors? We recommend as its a small expense
If you are replacing your countertop, generally you want the countertops to be replaced before refacing so damage will be done do the doors or boxes. The most popular options for countertops are quartz and natural granite however some may also choose laminate countertops.
Once you have your countertops installed and the color chosen it is more easy to choose colors for the doors.
How does cabinet refacing work using Dackor materials? Dackor recommends a professional refacer who has experience working with Dackor Peelstix for the cabinet boxes and someone who has lots of experience hanging the doors.
How does the refacer do the job?
The refacer will measure your doors to the nearest 1/8" and take notice of the type hardware they need to get, any unique aspects of the job such as the box condition and any unique installation challenges. After they take the measurements they usually get a deposit so that they can custom order the doors to match your specific Kitchen. Typically it can take 2 to 3 weeks to receive the doors in however sometimes it may be faster.
When the installer comes to install the job, it typically takes them 2 to 3 day. They take off the old doors, clean and prepare the box to be refaced using Dackor Peelstix. They then install the new doors and you get a completely transformed Kitchen saving thousands and with the color of your choice.
The benefits of refacing in most cases are:
-Saves money on a dumpster
-No need for an electrician or plumber
-No need for tear out and therefore no drywall damage or tile damage
-Brand new doors and completely refaced box on the external of the cabinets
-Quick install with no dust or debris
-Ability to use your kitchen in the evenings even during the install process
Imagine having a brand new looking Kitchen, not throwing away perfectly good boxes and not having to deal with numerous trades all of which cost more and create more complications.
Although many jobs can have complications, you can rest easy knowing that you are using a quality product that will create more value in your home and put a smile on your face when you see the final results!
The Sales Snowball
Many people think of sales calls in the Decorative Surfacing industry as something of pressure or of convincing people to buy product however that is a very short sighted way to think of Sales Calls.
In the Consultative Sales Call approach a person calls their clients in the following manner:
1. QUALIFY: Are you speaking with the right person? Simply asking the reception or the contact you have on file who the correct person is to speak with. People are eager to help to make sure that you get to the right person. In doing this it shows an eagerness to clean up your database, make sure they have adequate samples and know that you are a call away should they need anything. This is the first step to establishing a relationship with that company. In addition, when speaking with the correct person you are able to learn more deeply if they just handle purchasing or if they specify colors for their company or their clients. Simply ask during the conversation to get a better understanding if that person is truly the decision maker or if you are able to assist each other.
2. LEARN: In selling any product or service, knowledge is very important. Companies do provide training however learning never stops. When you call a company ask questions that enable you to get to know their company. This is a key step in understanding their needs and simultaneously learning about their abilities, types of machinery , etc. If much of your day is spent speaking with clients about their businesses the learning is multiplied and you become more and more knowledgeable.
3. DIG DEEPER : In learning about your client's business you will be listening and taking notes by pen or by typing in quietly into your Salesforce or other CRM. By asking "What ifs" you get to know more depth of what they are saying. For example, "What if we stocked that would a different texture, would that solve your problem?" That doesn't mean that you will however it will give you a better understanding. Often the client will say "No , they really are expecting the product to perform more than this type of product can". This type of response will enable both you AND the person you are speaking with to better understand the depth of the issue. Another key is to repeat their comment in another way "So what you're saying is .... ". The client may then confirm what you are saying and then you know you are in completely understanding.
4. SAMPLING: As you are talking to your client you will see opportunities to sample and the samples are something that will be shown to their clients. This is a key point in servicing their needs and providing value. For a company to accept a production sample and then utilize it is a key to showing the actual product in action.
5. FOLLOW UP: Follow up of quotes, samples and maintaining an ongoing relationship is key to building sales. By following up with your clients sales growth is guaranteed.
6. ACTIVITY: For a person to be successful in the material business they need to be active and constantly making calls or visits. Administration is something that people need to streamline or squeeze in however most successful sales people do admin after hours when their clients are not available. Notice from the steps above that you are always growing, making connections, sampling and following up again and again.
CONCLUSION: Imagine a snowball rolling down a mountain and all the snow is knowledge, clients, good-will, experience, and good habits. Such a snowball will thrive and become large and full of snow. On the other hand, imagine a snowball moving down a mountain and knowledge not sticking to it because of a lack of questions and lack of digging deeper or follow up..... will the snow ball pick up clients, good will and a lot of experience? Absolutely not. Good habits not only better serve clients but they are undeniable. If you learn to have good fundamentals your success is guaranteed.
Color matching policies
This article is to explain the Dackor color matching policies on how we develop prints and colors. As most people know, we offer 600 yard minimums on board matches that are in distribution as well as leathers however we require 1200 yard minimums at the time of this post for non board matches, pantone solid colors and most other items. We typically produce 2,000 yards our first production and then stock the remaining quantity thereafter. When we work with board producers we often stock with very little to zero requirement from our membrane pressing customers.
How do you match woodgrain designs?: There are two ways we match woodgrain designs, the first is via proprietary prints that we develop or that the paper company develop. The vast majority of Dackor woodgrains are items developed by paper companies such as Schattdecor, as an example. The second type of woodgrain is one in which we own the cylinder for that is similar enough the target match and have had for many years. We can determine within 48 hours if we have a print cylinder close enough or we need to seek the original design from the paper company.
What would constitute a cylinder being close enough to match? For prints such as oaks, maples, cherries as well as linear woodgrain prints we have an extremely large availability to choose from. It is very common that if the design is not unique that we already have a cylinder close enough to match. Sometimes we can even remove one of the cylinders from a three cylinder set to make it work or add a new cylinder to combine with the series.
Are there woodgrains you will not match? Yes. There are woodgrains we will not match. For example, if your woodgrain target has very specific sap marks or knots that are proprietary to the design we would need to reach out to the original paper producer to see if the PVC rights were available. If the rights are not available we then direct our clients to the competitor.
Are woodgrains patentable? In most of the world, woodgrains designs are protectable however this has been extremely difficult in the US. We encourage our customers to purchase only original designs from us or our competitors however we recognize that alternative cylinders that give a close match in a Hard Rock Maple or basic Oak design, are completely acceptable.
Why are edgebanding companies able to match all? The reason edgebanding producers are able to match most items is because so little of the print is revealed.
How do you analyze if a print cylinder is close enough? We can look at a design and determine if the 3 cylinder set will work or can be complimented with an emboss that will help that color match. Through experience we know quickly if we are able to make a match for a project or specific client who is looking for better stock, more scratch resistance or whatever the reason. However, typically, we have a budget available to purchase rights and develop tooling with the original design, especially if the match is being done in cooperation with the board producer.
Do you do custom embosses? Yes , we will do custom embosses to match the board company's emboss but in a PVC emboss using emboss cylinders, not press plates.
I'm a board company, why should I partner with Dackor? Dackor has one of the largest inventories in the world of 3D forming laminate. Over 95% of our sales are done through warehouse and shipped within 3 days of the Purchase Order. In addition, we sample aggressively, market the designs to the market place and we do not sell paper which competes with the board companies.
I hope that the above was helpful and informative, please inquire with Dackor at 407-654-5013 for further questions.
Point System in Sales
We all want to grow business and sales management is one of the difficult tasks we all face. How do you communicate to your sales team how to reach their goals?
Although there are many aspects to success in sales , one of the most important is in organized activity. Many sales people spend a lot of time preparing, on their computers or in meetings yet fail to make enough touches with customers. I'd like to propose you administrate a point system.
If we are talking about outside sales, imagine that you have a point system such as:
1 visit=10 points
1 successful call= 1 point
1 email= 0.25 points
The above point system means that just to maintain a basic, average day a person would need 30 points. To be above average they'd need 40 points, to be a sales winner they'd need 50 points and to be a sales whale they'd need 60 points per day. Below are some examples of successful sales days:
Monday: paperwork, planning week, 10 calls, 8 emails: 12 points
Tuesday: 4 visits, 24 emails, 10 calls= 56 points
Wednesday: in office: 50 calls, 96 form emails, 12 personalized emails =78
Thursday: at tradeshow: 4 visits, 24 emails, 10 calls= 56 points
Friday: 3 visits, 12 emails, 10 calls = 45 points
As you see from the above example, the person averages 49 points which makes them just shy of being a sales winner. Does this mean that the person cannot create success? No... But what it means is that they are active and digging for sales.
As sales professionals our goal is to combine quality with quantity the best we can. If you are only averaging 20 points to 30 points a week what are your changes to become a sales winner? However if you are averaging 60 points a week and working nights to organize your next day and weekends to catch up on emails imagine how much further ahead you can get. This doesn't mean that you must work so many hours but it does mean that if you go home at the end of the day and you look at a call volume of 10 calls and 12 email that you simply are not creating overwhelming action that will create success.
I hope that this post helps to motivate you and keep in mind that the points aren't exact, they are just representative of a bigger point.
"The Marketing of Color"
Original post: September 2011
If your company markets components, melamines, laminates, kitchens, store fixtures or even consumer products, I think you will find this article "THE MARKETING of COLOR" to be of interest. Since we are all in the business of figuring out what consumers want, exploring the history of color, how trends are created and how distribution affects color develop is highly relevant. Its hard to be a predictor of future trends however after you read more of how I analyze past trends, I think you'll see that some predictions can, in fact, be made towards future color trends.
HISTORY OF COLOR
As a fellow human, certainly you can attest to how important color is to our daily lives but think about how important color was to early man. The decision to eat one food over another and the color of poisonous snakes for example could literally determined if you survived to produce offspring. Interpreting color and making predictions could be a life or death situation. As a result, humans have certain innate reactions to color that seem to, in general, be universal across cultures. Lets examine more about the history of colors and how they evoke emotions today.
RED: If you look at the color red it typically has two very different feelings; pleasure and danger. If you look at food, strawberries can be sweet and safe to eat yet Hawthorn's red berries can make you sick. This creates a dual emotion that Red can be a volatile color that could create pleasure or pain. Another example of red, are red lips. Red lips in most cultures signify that a woman is fertile and is therefore loosely translated to passion. Today red lipstick is used not only as a cultural decoration but its origins can be traced far back in various civilizations. Another place red was seen in the history of humans is on the battlefield. Red blood signifies the calamities of war which could be disaster if you were on the loosing side but you might feel elation after winning a war and getting to live another day.
Red is a very common color used by certain consumer products to invoke passion however many companies such as financial companies avoid red entirely as it signifies danger or loss. When companies are loosing money they are known to be "in the red" for example.
GREEN: Green typically signifies "wealth". Imagine all of our years growing crops and living off the green of the land. Land use to be viewed as the single source for survival and hence the color green signifies money and wealth. Starbucks is a successful company that uses Green and a symbol that looks like a coin. Have you ever thought that Starbucks sells the aspiration to wealth rather than only selling coffee. Books have been written on the success of Starbucks and how vital green was to their overall success.
YELLOW: Just like Red, yellow evokes dual emotion. One is of hope, happiness and sunshine and the other is in betray or deceit. We all can understand that the sun represents hope and brightness but why is yellow often seen as the color of deceit or betrayal? For thousands of years the color yellow has signified betrayal in most cultures (but not all ) however some trace the yellow color to certain deseases and illnesses that have plagued humans from the beginning. I won't elaborate too deeply in this short article however I may expand examples in future articles.
BLACK: Black typically signifies power, authority, fear and death. When you take any color to its darkest value it becomes black. If you can imagine ancient mankind and how a decomposed body turned black or how a crop or home might be destroyed by fire would be black. But the most moving evidence that early man might be afraid of black would be from when the sky turns black. Today black also signifies authority such as in a suit or when a judge wears a black robe rather than a yellow one for example.
BLUE: Blue can be most closely related to Water and the sky. Do you ever feel more peaceful simply by looking at water or the sky? I know I do... Ancient humans always felt safe when they lived close to water because we can live for weeks without food but only a few days without drinkable water. Insurance companies, banks and even 3D Laminate companies often use the color blue to make people feel safe in using their product. Do you use a particular company due to their color unknowingly?
HOW WE PERCEIVE COLOR:
In a previous article I wrote called "Understanding the Language of Color", I went into depth about various things that affect how we perceive colors. I won't go too deep in this article however I will say that how we perceive color is not always accurate... For example, think of the "area effect". To understand the area effect, imagine making a match to a large 2' X 2' board and then looking at a small 3" X 3" match to that board. At first glance you may think the larger board is more light however what if you found out that you were in fact looking at the exact same color!? Simply by looking at a larger piece is creates an accumulation of color in your eye (so to speak) that gives you the perception that it is lighter than the other. In summation, there are various situations such as metamerism, the area affect and others that can make human perceive color differently from situation to situation.
The Mirriam Webster dictionary defines a trend as "A general direction in which something is developing or changing". But what is an "Antitheisis Trend"? First I should say this is a Markism or in other words a definition made up by myself... (you're free to laugh at or with me here) Due to my passion for marketing and exploration of marketing trends I often come up with situations in which there does not exist a marketing industry term. Previously I had come up with the term "Gain Leader"; opposite of "Loss Leader" and I've received a lot of positive feedback on this new marketing term and perspective. Getting back to the Antithesis... My definition of an "Antithesis Trend" is "A new trend created by the desire for change away from the current trend". If you ask a music executive or clothing designer if they have ever experienced an "Antithesis Trend" they would first ask you what it meant and then after you gave them the definition they would immediately point at you and say "Yes ! Thats my reality. "
In the Music Industry, lets examine some examples of Antithesis Trends. Before you think I've gone on a tangent, trust that I will tie this in to how color trends can also be affected by this. Next I will take you on a journey from the 1950s music through 2010 and show how a desire for change drove new trends and then give specific examples of musical artists and how they benefited from the trend change.
Early 1950s; This era was made up primarily with Crooners. This romantic singers appealed to love, relationships and courtship. Artist such as Buddy Holley were big in the 1950s and to say that the decade was full of G rated love songs would be an understatement. Whats the opposite of a G rated love ballad by a Crooner? Elvis...
1956/1960s; When Elvis first appeared on the Ed Sullivan show on September 9th, 1956 with his sexual innuendos and gyrating hips he put a nail in the coffin of the days of the Crooner. Elvis was extremely talented but he was also at the right place at the right time. Elvis mixed the Blues with Crooners and became the Antithesis of the Crooner trend. That is until.
1970s; Disco and the Bee Gees.. Disco brought in an era of excess, drug use, disco balls and dance. Although Elvis had smooth moves of his own, Disco brought in an error of the individual dancing. It is a bit difficult to draw an exact correlation of how Disco was the opposite of Elvis however one can certainly argue that Disco dominated the 70s and that it was very different to say the least.
1980s; Hair Bands. Motley Crew. When the 80s music scene came it as if someone turned out the lights and took the disco ball home. "No more disco for you" they probably grumbled as they exited out the back door of Studio 54. Bands such as Motley Crew and Warrant wore make up, teased their hair and did not come close to breaking out into dance as in the days of disco. It is easy to see how the Hair Bands were the Antithesis of Disco until...
1990s Grunge Rock. Nirvana. From the moment I saw the video "Smells like Team Spirit" and cought wind of the growing Seattle Grunge movement I knew that Hair Bands were simply uncool. Think of how Grunge is actually the opposite of hair bands and make up. Many in the Grunge music scene avoided showers and there were no sequins or makeup to be found. Is it possible that Grunge became popular BECAUSE it was the opposite of Hair bands?
2000s Rap/Bling. Tupac. What is the opposite of a white guy from Seattle who believes in minamalism? Hmmm. Well certainly the opposite of Grunge Rock is Rap featuring videos with gold chains, cars and excess. Rappers are the new rock stars....they say...
ANTITHESIS TRENDS can be witnessed in the music industry over the past 60 years and one could argue that no new fad would have quite the impact if people weren't so darn tired of the past trend. It could be argued that if you want to know whats going to be big, just figure out whats the opposite of whats hot now.
Color Trends Antithesis: Many laminate colorists often discuss how when an economic market declines that darker colors become more popular. Our best seller for the past four years has been Wenge which is a dark woodgrain and certainly one can argue that its in line with what colorists have been saying. On the flip side, colorists also say that lighter colors tend to become more popular during economic growth. This has been applied to laminates however it becomes more complicated when we look at cars or fashion. But in a bigger sense, its important to understand how trends can be created based upon using a feeling for the bigger world around you.
MASS THOUGHT'S EFFECT on COLOR TRENDS
Mass Thought or Mass Consciousness essentially means that there are common thoughts shared by your community that are influenced by religion, culture and socio-economics. As a human you share many common thoughts and each person influences mass opinion through his or her vote or opinion towards a given subject. We have all heard of the "butterfly affect" however mass thought is much more easy to describe and understand. Above I mentioned how trends can be created by the general public desire for change (Antithesis) away from a current trend and I've also given a history of color and how our emotions are influenced by our preconceptions about what colors mean to us. What if I gave a test and where I had a picture of a red ball and a blue ball and then asked the general public "Which ball do you desire more". Wouldn't logic tell you that it would be 50/50? What if you found that the 70% desired the red ball? How would explain it? What if you had a society who was sick and tired of taking chances and dealing with products that did not work and then gave them the test whereby 70% then chose the blue ball? This is a theoretical question and no such study has been done however if you understand color more deeply and if you have spent much time studying consumer trends then you can start to see that such a result may be possible.
The DISTRIBUTOR EFFECT.... on COlOR TRENDS
The next area that can affect a color's success is the Distribution of that product. Imagine that you are a colorist for a melamine board producer and your job is to select colors that will be a hit in the market. Of course you will consider the following:
1. What you are seeing at trade shows. Example: textures
2. What has been selling more in the recent past. Ex: dark colors, warm tones
3. What has not been selling in the recent past. Ex: Items with knots
4. What the market is asking for. Ex: Less movement in the wood speciesand more linear
5. What you believe your distributors will buy into
What would you add?
So you start to ask yourself questions such as "Will the market like it?" "Whats in my line now?", "What trends are coming?", "What trends are going?" and then finally "What items can I get my distributing customers to buy into?" Now imagine that the distributors make a comment such as "I don't have anything in a warm honey shade ..." Bingo. Now if you find a wood species that is linear, warm in tone, looks good with that new ticking texturing you just launched, doesnt have knots and one of your key distributors thinks it will fill his line. Now you've got something.
Now of course I've just simplified the process for the sake of this article but think about the importance of a Distributor for any product line. Do you think that Ford considers their dealerships when creating new cars? Of course its a consideration since they will be preordering the inventory.
In addition, imagine that you are going to buy a sedan and you really want a black Camry and then you go to a few Toyota dealers in your town but they are all out of black Camrys but they do have black Avalons which cost more. It could be that the Distributor might have known that there is a demand for black sedans and so he intentionally stocked more black Avalons since they were a higher margin car. Now imagine deciding to go ahead and buy an Avalon because you really really wanted a black Toyota sedan. Now imagine that simply by Toyota allowing the Avalon to be a higher margin car and then knowing that black luxury sedans sell better than gold ones and then mysteriously black Avalons outsell black Camry's 2 to 1 yet Camrys outsell Avalons. I call this the Distributor Effect...A truly powerful persuasion on the outcome of color sales.
As we examine the MARKETING of COLOR we can clearly see that how humans interact with color can be based upon our preconceived feelings that are on a primal level, based upon trends , Antithesis trends, Mass Thought and even based upon the Distributor Effect. The Marketing of Color sounds like a crap shoot but the more you examine humans, the market and human behavior you will find that its not only possible to predict color trends but to actually create color trends.
Language is required for humans to communicate, learn and grow but what are the origins of a particular language? In reality there is a linear progression in language whereby as a society new words are created out of necessity and they either thrive or die.
One interesting thing about learning foreign languages is that you occasionally learn a new word in which there is no exact equivalent in your native tongue. These terms can range from tastes, circumstances and even emotions. What does it mean if your society doesn't have a word for a thing, does it mean it does not exist or are we just lost for words and move on in the conversation stumbling around with our limited vocabularies speaking to others who are not even understanding the majority of what we say?
As a student of marketing occasionally I run across situations in which there is no word to describe the subject so I create a marketing term and speak about it at a conference or write about it in a blog. Occasionally I've been emailed or called about marketing terms or concepts I've created to site for a paper or even from professors utilizing the term. One of the most popular marketing concepts I've created is called the Antithesis Theory and can be read about in my post "the Marketing of Color".
The second most common marketing term I've created is called "the Gain Leader". We've all heard of the term "Loss Leader" as its a very common marketing determine that describes when a product is sold at a loss in order to attract customers. If you imagine a gas station selling either gas at a lower price to attract people to shop in their store before credit cards were as prevalent or a convenience store selling milk at a lower price to bring people in to buy the other products then you are familiar with the term. But what is a Gain Leader?
If a consumer is attracted to a product or service which stands out in some manner from the rest then that product or service becomes a magnet for either purchase or from investigation. Consumers may purchase at a place ongoing out of convenience or because their needs are being met or exceeded at their particular level of expectation. But consumers also look for anomalies for a bargain OR as a novelty. So if a Loss Leader attracts consumers to your standard offering whilst they seek out a bargain what is the marketing term for attracting consumers to your standard offering when they are seeking novelty? It doesn't exit.... Years ago I had created the marketing term Gain Leader so let me break down the definition.
Loss Leader: Loss means lower profit, Leader means it is put front and center to garner attention from consumers with the intent of them also buying the standard or slightly above standard priced products
Gain Leader: Gain means higher profit, Leader means it is put front and center to garner attention from consumers with the intent of them also buying the standard or slightly above standard priced products
But why offer Gain Leaders? Isn't that greedy?
With Loss Leaders there is additional value being given to the consumer that is greater than the market price for that product. By its very nature of selling more volume it also enables the company to buy more volume and drive down costs. In a Gain Leader its a novel product which may actually not sell as well because of its novelty. By definition a Gain Leader would be sold at a higher cost due to its lower production efficiency of smaller volume or buy the unique attributes that make that product cost more.
What is the goal of a Gain Leader?
The goal of a Gain Leader is to attract customers to your standard offering while selling a product at a higher margin.
I hope that as you've read this article that you think of ways to offer new and exciting products which are beyond the norm and that you assign internal value to how those exciting products create attention for your standard offerings. Its my goal to someday publish a book that collaborates my various marketing terms, anecdotes and observations. Although I do not consider myself a writer per se, I do feel that my observations can be useful to others in helping them grow their businesses. I hope you have enjoyed this article and be sure to send me a message.
How to be a Sales Consultant
Too often sales people push their products, feature dump or talk ill of their competitors. The ideal sales person is a Sales Consultant. The term Sales Consultant refers to a sales person who asks detailed probing questions and listens carefully to their clients needs. A Sales Consultant helps their clients grow their business so that the two companies can both grow together. A basic or simple sales person simply tries to take business that already exists.
So how can you be a Sales Consultant?
1. Be prepared. Go to your client’s website , linked in or google their company to learn as much as you can before calling. Failing to do so is lazy and disrespectful.
“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success”. Alexander Graham Bell
2. Build Rapport. Build a connection with your customer by being personable, neatly dressed if in person and be sincere. Looking around their office for something to pose a connection to is disingenuous and fake.
It is important to respect your customers time and space. Use a public restroom before visiting their office, do not read any names on the paperwork on their desk. Give sincere compliments on their knowledge and give your customer the ability to educate you. To build rapport, remember the following quotes:
“Rapport equals trust plus comfort” Neil Strauss
“Rapport is the ultimate tool for producing results with other people. No matter what you want in life, if you can develop rapport with the right people, you’ll be able to fill their needs and they will be able to fill yours” Tony Robbins
3. Ask open-ended questions. Ask the most broad questions as possible to start
“When you talk you are repeating what you already know. But if you listen you may learn something new.” Dalai Lama
“One of the most sincere forms of respect is listening to what another has to say” Bryant McGill
4. Follow up questions. Things such as
“To be heard we must first listen”… LR Knost
5. Move them to topics that parallel to your strengths. “So you mentioned that quality is important. I know we are more expensive but if it cut down on your rejects would that actually save you money?” This transition should be smooth and fit into something they have already said
6. Be respectful of their time. Remember that learning about your client is not an interrogation and should not feel clinical. This means that you should sound smooth and listen closely to signs they need to go. Sometimes you can bring up a subject that makes them want to stay and talk but the most important thing is to remember to be respectful.
“Respect is not imposed nor begged. It’s earned and offered.” Author unknown
7. Winding down. Once you get a good direction or course of action its important to transition the end of the meeting or conversation. You can be honest that you have a conference call but the best is to be direct and say “I need to go but I will send you the samples or quote you requested by tomorrow. Is that OK?” And always , always keep your word.
Remember that as humans, there is no sweeter sound than to hear our names or the sound of our own voices. Are you speaking to your client so that you get to hear your own voice or so that they get to hear theirs? Ask detailed , probing questions, listen, be respectful and do what you say you will do. Simple.
Design Life blog
Color inspiration from around the world, backstories on design inspiration and informative articles about marketing, membrane pressing and personal development. Author Mark Viers delivers fresh content that will help you and your business grow and thrive.
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