“You need to educate your customer. When they realize the value of your product, then they will pursue it.”
In the North American insulation market, energy managers have plenty of options, including traditional fiberglass insulation and reusable insulation blankets like those made by Shannon Global Energy Solutions. Sometimes, it can be a challenge to convince energy managers to make the investment in reusable blankets over less expensive options.
In the Latin American market, according to Jose Olivieri, director of business development for Shannon’s LATAM division, that problem is amplified by the lower cost of local labor.
“There are mechanical contractors that do their own blankets,” said Olivieri. “If we’re selling blankets for each separate component, [energy managers] will always find a local contractor that can do the same thing for less.”
As a result, Olivieri has had to find new ways to market the product to maintain competitiveness across the market.
“It’s been difficult because our target audience in Latin America have very inexpensive resources available to compete with our product,” said Olivieri.
Olivieri and his team have found success by investing time in educating the customer, as well as change the way managers think about the product.
“I think that’s the key, making the customer value the product and to understand that it’s not just a blanket, it is a system,” said Olivieri.
Educating customers about the ways Shannon blankets are actually a system designed to lower costs and improve workplace safety has helped build Shannon’s credibility in Latin America, and this approach has resulted in deals with three large companies in the region. These partnerships have helped further build credibility in the market, and increased consumer interest considerably.
These successes in a more cost-conscious marketplace are a lesson for the North American market to place emphasis on customer education when engineering and selling reusable solutions.
“You need to educate your customer. When they realize the value of your product, then they will pursue it,” said Olivieri.