23 Sep 15 ValueNotes BrandMeter – actionable intelligence from brand perception

I like to look at reviews before buying things and I imagine others do too. While it is easy to find reviews and comments on consumer durables – like hair dryers, refrigerators, washing machines and so – on social media, I have not seen any posts on engineering products such as boilers, power tools, compressors, etc.

Buyers of the products primarily rely on opinions of industry experts, their peers, dealers, distributors and consultants for product and service reviews. Manufacturers of B2B products also don’t get to know what their customers think on a regular basis and have to rely on the occasional or periodical customer satisfaction or perception studies they conduct or on the inputs they get from the trade participants. Do their customers and distributors give them totally honest feedback? Do they get inputs on their competitors’ products as well as their own?

B2B companies don’t always get a true picture of how they are perceived by different stakeholders, and this limits their ability to take proactive actions to gain a competitive advantage in their industry.

ValueNotes recently conducted an extensive brand perception study for industrial compressors of different types – reciprocating and screw, across multiple end user verticals including auto, cement, chemicals, steel, power, textiles among others. Perceptions of several hundred respondents including end-users, distributors, dealers and EPC consultants were collated and analysed to produce the ValueNotes BrandMeter – Industrial Compressors.
The analysis threw up some expected and some unexpected findings.

What purchasing criteria do buyers of industrial compressors use? While most of the criteria were as expected, the end users and trade participants differed in their perceptions of the relative importance of the criteria. We were surprised at the significant differences in how they rated and ranked the top companies.

Further, while the top 5-6 players (Atlas Copco, Elgi, Ingersoll Rand, Kaeser, Kirloskar and Chicago Pneumatics) dominated the markets in most end user industries, we found that some of the smaller players like FS Curtis, Ateliers Francois, Gardner Denver and Boge among others, have created strong brands for themselves in niche markets.
What surprised us most were the disparities between the perceptions of users and non-users of the brands. For some brands, the users ranked the brand lower than the non-users suggesting that their brand image runs ahead of what they actually deliver. For some others we found just the opposite – their users ranked them higher than the non-users.

So what actionable inputs does ValueNotes BrandMeter have for compressor manufacturers?
• They get unbiased inputs on where they stand compared to their peers
• They can identify areas of improvement for their products and associated services
• They can fine-tune their marketing activities to broadcast the “right” messages about their brand and offerings
• They can identify the strengths and weaknesses of the current and upcoming competitors in different end user markets and formulate competitive strategies to win.

To know more about ValueNotes BrandMeter, please get in touch with research@valuenotes.co.in.

Varsha Chitale

Varsha led the competitive intelligence practice at ValueNotes. As part of her drive to educate India Inc. on the merits of competitive intelligence, she often conducted webinars and seminars on CI for senior executives of Indian companies.

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