Back when I was in the paint industry, Benjamin Moore had an excellent strategy:
- Target the residential repainter.
- Sell through dealers only (no home centers, no company-owned stores).
- Market to consumers as "high-design, high-fashion, color-forward."
I often look at technologies in our industry and wonder why nobody has tried to own a strategy in RF scanning devices. They are really just sold as commodities, but the supply chain market has room for a number of potential strategies:
- The "Dell" strategy: go direct, reduce cost and inventory, become a "fast follower" on technology, customize orders prior to shipment, compete on price.
- The "Apple" strategy: sell through proprietary network of high-value consultants, work really hard on the user interface, make the devices intuitive for users, solve problems in the supply chain with easy-to-download "apps" for the devices, provide a robust ecosystem of matching applications (printers, device management software, etc.), limit inter-operability to require the entire ecosystem and provide benefits for using all one vendor's ecosystem.
- The "Sub-Zero" strategy: go super up-market, provide extraordinary value for a premium price, sell through a network of carefully chosen partners with only the best knowledge base, focus only on niche applications that cannot take a commodity scanner.