Driving … The Grainger Way


Okay, so we talked about imitating others and how that may, or may not be, an effective growth strategy and yes, according to Nike, everyone wants to be “like Mike”, but here’s an idea from Grainger that may generate some ideas …

I was in San Antonio and noticed this Grainger vehicle parked out front making a sales call or possibly a delivery.  Nice “Grainger red” and plastered with their name, telephone number and website all over it.

Which then starts to beg a couple of questions:

  • If you supply your salespeople with vehicles that also can double as delivery vehicles (i.e. SUVs, pick-up trucks) are you getting the greatest return on your investment that you could or is this considered a perk? If you’re looking for a return, ask yourself, how could my vehicle be a roving billboard for my business?
  • If your branches have access to a vehicle for emergency deliveries (or small deliveries), is the vehicle distinctive and clearly communicates who you are, what you sell (Grainger is gaining enough brand recognition that the appropriate people recognize them), and how to get in touch with you?
  • And if you are going to promote your website, is it really something that you want to promote? Can customers (i.e. anyone) order from it or is it only for your customers?
  • And if you promote a telephone number, which telephone number? The one that requires people to know the extension that they want? The one to the receptionist who asks “who are you calling for” or to a call center where someone can help the customer?
But then again, maybe you only want to sell, and market, to your existing customers (and only to the people you know in those customers)?

Capturing market share and increasing sales in today’s market requires thinking outside of your “distribution box”.  Think like a marketer to identify opportunities to differentiate yourself and to get into the mind of your customer.

If Grainger can design the coverings for their vehicles, so can you … and there are suppliers who may also see an opportunity.
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Supporting manufacturers, distributors and others in the electrical channel with accelerating growth through business / channel strategy, marketing development and customer-focused market research. We generate "ideas that deliver results."

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