I basically abandoned most of the old ways of production, mining, and manufacturing. After a fair amount of trial, error, and out of the box thinking, we were able to create a high-end product that we could consistently reproduce in many shapes, sizes, and finishes.
The process started with developing new technology for mining of the high-quality raw material. Better mining practices and efficiencies, right through refining the manufacturing process, led to the ability to deliver an extremely high level of finished product — and lots of it — consistently.
I believed that once people started to use this product, they would realize it was the highest quality available, high demand would surge, and the company would achieve a much higher level of success.
All you have to do is get it out there…
Sounds good, right? Not really… the problem of poor industry reputation remained — and was like a wall holding this company back.
I knew I had to come up with a solution because, without one, the company would flounder.
So what I did was rebrand the product. Using the name of the geologic period in which the material was formed, I changed the name of the product to something that no one had ever heard of. Then I changed the name of the company to match. The entire product line was then trademarked with a reference to everlasting natural beauty.
Suddenly we had a brand, and an industry product line all to ourselves.
The next step was to market this “new” product to the existing industry customer base as the best, new, most workable, beautiful and consistent product in the industry.
Getting in front of architectural firms was a challenge, so I had to come up with a strategy to get in the door. Through research, I learned that architects need 18 credits per year of continuing education, and it was possible to get a course certified through the American Institute of Architects.
I then drafted a 10-point course that would provide practical, industry-specific educational information about the process from mining to manufacturing, installation, and care of the product and submitted it to the AIA for approval.
The course and I both became certified by the AIA. Meetings, learning sessions and “lunch and learns” were set up with architectural firms, primarily firms with dozens of architects that were working on high-end projects.
As I taught this course, I would answer many questions, interacting, brainstorming, and talking about ideas — some industry-specific and some that had nothing to do with my company. It was these things as well as honesty, thinking openly and creatively, that allowed me to build trust and relationships with the architectural community.
The architects would learn about the industry and its processes, its materials, and inadvertently the new “rebranded” product– and therefore the company– through this course. Because the product was renamed, and so was the company—when the product was specified by architectural firms (which it was, to great success), there were no alternate suppliers as the name was unique to the company. That meant that when the contractors followed the specs for suppliers with no alternates, they had to go to us.
This marketing technique really put the company on the map, creating an amazing path for success, and it was the trust that helped seal the deal. The company went on to become known as the “Gold Standard,” having the highest quality product available, and developing long-term clients such as Apple, Harvard University, The Smithsonian Institute, Rutgers University, Colgate Palmolive, Yale University, Corning Glass, Princeton University, The Dakota Apartment Building NYC and many other institutions and historical Buildings in New York City and on the east coast.
To learn more about Robert’s process, Contact Robert at: https://robertbellospirito.com/contact/