It takes time to change an audience’s mindset about your brand. But the biggest hurdle is changing your own.
I’ve always had the greatest respect – and awe – for brands that can take an everyday product we all take for granted, and turn it on its ear.
Tesla is one of the first that comes to mind. And Dyson – they made vacuums and fans some of the sexiest products on the market and created a whole new category.
Sonnet has caught my attention of late as well. Their brand is completely fresh, innovative and completely unique in the tired insurance sector.
It’s every brander’s dream to get the opportunity to brand or rebrand a product we can flip 180 degrees to change people’s perceptions about a common item. And while we can’t lay claim to any of the aforementioned all-stars, we were given that opportunity recently.
Breaking Through the Commodity Barrier
Let’s face it. Commercial air filters are not something people are going to get too excited about. All buildings have them. They all need to change them regularly. And a filter is a filter, right?
Wrong. And therein lies a big part of the problem. When even the client is convinced their product is a commodity, or can only be viewed in a certain way, they end up stuck in a way of thinking that’s counterproductive to success.
And trying to compete in exactly the same way as everyone else with a product that’s seen as a commodity, and sold as a commodity, is not going to get you anywhere. You end up in a price war with no brand loyalty and a business model that can’t get to where it needs to go.
The 180 Degree View: People Care More About Health Than the Environment When It Comes to ROI.
It took some convincing, but we got our commercial air filter folks to finally realize that. While they’re the only 100% recyclable commercial air filter out there – a unique selling position – the sad news is that businesses and buildings pay lip service to the environment when it comes to their bottom line.
What they do take seriously though is the cost of employees’, tenants’ and users’ health. According to the World Green Council Report, 90% of the cost of any business is its people. And people spend 90% of their time in buildings. The EPA advised that the air quality (IAQ) in those buildings has often been measured to find even more pollutants than outside where soot, smog, dirt, gases, spores, mould and particulates – you name it – abound.
When you add that to a couple of other credible statistics: that 50% of all illnesses are caused or aggravated by poor indoor air quality (The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology) and that Gallup-Healthways, the Conference Board of Canada and others point to $Billions in absenteeism and lost productivity, the issue is worthy of some serious attention – and maybe some pressure brought to bear on property managers and building owners to stop nickel and diming on the air filters in their buildings.
So suddenly a $5 commercial air filter is no longer a commodity – or a dollar or so shouldn’t make it such. Human resource departments: take note!
For our client it was an ‘AHA’ moment – a new way to think. A new way to sell. A new value proposition that makes dollars and sense. And a model for growth.
Commodity-based items are not the only brands stuck in the ‘We’ve always done it this way and so has our industry’ mentality. Manufacturing and professional services share some of the biggest ‘why change?’ mindsets.
Dare to differentiate I say. Go get ‘em Delta M. We’re delighted you trusted us to help you change the world.