Keeping Up With the Competition

Written by Joe Hardee Joe Hardee keeping up with the Competition

I see it all the time one person buys a new product, gets a new trailer, or even gets a new wrap on the company vehicle. Shortly after you will see ten people on line bragging they got the same thing. Now do not get me wrong nothing wrong with upgrading equipment but I often wonder if it is more about appearing to be successful instead of actually updating to be successful.

See in any industry or walk of life vendors reach out to what are called influencers. These are the popular people that others seem to flock to they have a following so what they say has to be the truth. Sometimes it is and sometimes it is not.

I like to see the positive in people so I will say most influencers start out with good intentions to show products that are useful to the industry. Unfortunately to many times it becomes a money grab or popularity contest.

Eventually a product comes along that is not quite that special or maybe it does not quite do what it claims to do. The Influencer now has to make a choice do I tell my audience the truth or do I promote the product. If they put the product down chances are that company will not be sending them anything else to test and the sponsorship or perks will dry up. If they tell the truth the audience respects them for being honest but we all know respect does not always pay the bills.

Payless shoes a short time back did an experiment. They opened a store and made it look very fancy basically a higher end store with marble, statues, and well dressed salespeople. They loaded the stores with shoes that normally sold for 39.99 but raised the prices to over 500 a pair. They sold these shoes at an alarming rate and then asked the customers that made the purchases what caused them to purchase the shoes. These were some of the answers given. One customer said “they could tell the shoe was made out of quality materials.” Another customer said “a lot of thought was put into the workmanship of the shoe.” The honest truth both answers might have been correct but the same shoe could have been bought for 39.99 right down the street.


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Now is this to say that some products should not be more expensive than others due to the quality of the product or maybe cause it fills a need in the industry of course not. But it does make me think how many times have I bought a product cause of a influencer or good marketing campaign when I could of got a comparable product for less. It makes me think did I really need that last product or did I buy it so I could appear to be successful.

My father was a mechanic his whole life and I grew up in dealership service departments. One thing that stands out to me is his toolbox it was old and ugly and even pieced together in spots. The other mechanics would get hired and roll in these high dollar shiny boxes with chrome inlay and even custom paint jobs. I would often ask paps dad why don’t you get a new box? His answers made a lot of sense. He explained to me that while those other guys boxes were pretty the box did not make the money, the tools inside the box made the money. He would explain that a colorful or shiny box did not give you the knowledge to fix a problem job but experience did. He would explain that a ten thousand dollar box was no good if it only held a couple of hundred dollars in tools.

So in closing next time you make a purchase take time to think am I in need of this product or am I trying to keep up with my neighbors.

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