Industrial Products – Do You Buy Good Enough Or Best?

One of my new favorite tech news sites is The Information. It’s a subscription email newsletter/Website founded by Jessica Lessin. (Interestingly my other favorite is Pando, also founded by a woman–Sarah Lacy.)

Jessica’s husband, Sam, wrote a post with a provocative thought this week, The Good Enough Stuff Revolution.

He asks, “Are Harry’s or Dollar Shave Club razors better than Gillette? What about Honest Co. soap versus Dial soap? I have no idea, and I don’t have any interest in figuring it out. They are good enough and generally easier to buy, and so they win.

“There is, in my mind, a major revolution underway in most consumer hard and soft goods which I call the Good Enough Stuff revolution. As a result, most traditional brands sold through traditional retail avenues are going to struggle to find a foothold in this new world.”

This leads to the provocative idea, “The thing to understand is that Good Enough products aren’t purely commodities racing to the bottom. They are a class of products where the end-to-end experience of selection, purchasing and customer service is more important than the product itself.”

Good enough Industrial Products?

What do you buy? Of course there are many classes of industrial products. Large assets, smaller assets, control components, MRO.

Which of these do you buy because of the end-to-end customer experience rather than diligently searching out best-in-class or merely price?

There are lots of PLCs available, for instance. You could get a smaller one and buy on price. You could go to AutomationDirect and buy direct over the Web (not unlike Amazon). You could buy where there is a strong distributor relationship. You could go with the “new kid on the block”–Bedrock Automation–and go for the added feature of built-in security.

Have you changed buying habits over the past 10 years or so? Do you think you could change buying habits? Where would you draw the line on size of equipment??

More important, perhaps, would be the question–should I be considering how I purchase and re-evaluate the entire process.

Thoughts welcome.

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