Sunday, December 02, 2007

Marketing Musings: Some Vacuum Cleaners Suck

Just how important is it to move with the times? In my opinion change is everything and ignoring what’s going on in your industry because you are in love with your product or service seals your long term fate. I talked about this in more depth back in Week 27 and previously I also mentioned James Dyson and his approach to winning in business. Disclaimer: Dyson is one of my heroes. He is the very essence of what it means to compete on the basis of innovation and design as opposed to price and spin.

With that out of the way let’s have cold hard look at Dyson versus Oreck. I wouldn’t normally just pick on a competitor for the sake of it but lately I have seen an increased number of Oreck ads and I also happened by a store of theirs in Manhattan over the weekend. They sell on history, price and “free steak knife” promotions. Let’s have a look at some pictures:

Oh my, notice anything? Don’t judge a book by its cover I hear you say. Well the fact is that Dyson changed the playing field when he removed bags from the vacuuming equation simply because they clog. Nothing else to it, they clog; sometimes rapidly, and therefore diminish your ability to clean your house effectively. Dyson went so much further than solving this problem. He also has a passion for design and how that intersects with the practicality of a vacuum cleaner – all those odds and ends to snap on and keep neat. The result is a stunning example of being so far ahead of your competition that they literally cannot touch you.

For a great Christmas present buy your favorite friend in small business “Against the Odds”. It’s a fantastic read and will get you deep inside Dyson’s mind. Happy cleaning.

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