Component Marketing

May 7, 2008

I just finished reading Tim Hurson’s book Think Better: An Innovator’s Guide to Productive Thinking (see bookshelf) The book mentions a topic that has been on my “to write” list for a while.

Mr. Hurson mentions successes by W.L. Gore and Assoc. as well as others, that have successfully become household names, even though they do not physically manufacture or create the “end user” product. In this case Gore-Tex. The term is component marketing, getting the consumer actually asking for your product.

As mentioned a few times in this blog, I am employed with an organization that is a (very) small provider of services to the automotive industry. In the automotive industry, a key source of revenue is getting you, the customer, to bring your vehicle to the dealer for your maintenance and repairs,rather than the corner garage or your local quick lube joint. When you think of the car manufacturers, you instinctively consider other manufacturers as being the only competetion, however at the dealership level, the competition is also those other automotive service providers.

Except for real “gear heads”, the parts that go into your car are invisible. You may know that brakes, or shock absorbers are there, but really, so what?

About a year ago I did a presentation demonstrating that the service parts on a motor vehicle are just as invisible to the end-user (the owner or driver) as the computer chip in a computer. Yet one of the most famous component marketing campaigns in history is Intel Corp’s. “Intel Inside” advertising. (who above the age of 15 does NOT remember it?) For a supplier of something that no one outside of the technology world will ever see, Intel is a household name. To this day the little “Intel” sticker is on most consumer and business laptops or PC’s that you can purchase.

Personally, I saw a huge opportunity for the OEM industry to mimic that type of component campaign. The idea never went anywhere, but to this day I wonder if it could be as successful as the “Intel Inside” campaign was.

Maybe some marketing guru can tell me why it wouldn’t work.

Maybe some auto dealer is willing to try with your local market tier 3 marketing dollars.

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