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  • Writer's pictureRAN FPE

Marketing Corner: Commodity vs Value

Updated: Apr 22, 2020

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This is a continuation from RAN Fire Protection's bi-monthly newsletter, to subscribe to our newsletter please send an email to with "Subscribe" in the subject line.

Part One

Coffee. Most of you cannot start your day without a cup. It is on every corner, it is easy to purchase, make, and drink. In other words, coffee is a commodity. You can get black coffee anywhere for any price, but what about those premium lattes with the extra shot of espresso? You aren't going to find all of that extra goodness at your local gas station, or make it in a jiffy at home. You have to go to a "premium" coffee maker, like Starbucks. The Starbucks brand sets itself apart because it has premium coffee beans, extra offerings such as double shots of espresso and flavored add ins.

So what is the point of all this?

Part Two

As a business owner, especially in an industry such as fire protection, you do not want to be another commodity. You want to be the premium offering, with the extra added value. Instead of getting into a pricing war and driving profit down, you want to stress the value within your company philosophy, services/products offered, and show how making the right choice from the beginning can save the customer in the long run. Same goes with performance specs, don't settle for the commodity when you have the full design offered to you with standards and a road map from the beginning all the way to your destination.

There is a choice between being a commodity and establishing your brand. Architects and engineers known for their brand are really known for their value.

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