One of the great things about my job is that affords me the chance to explore the inner workings of some of the most prominent business thinkers in a cross-section of industries.
I freely admit that I don't have the strongest of business backgrounds. So I am fascinated by those who seem to create great success in business development.
I have written recently about Vornado Air out of Kansas. For those of you who aren't familiar with Vornado, here's a quick background.
The company brand has been around since the 1940s, but it began it's rise to a leader in commercial and residential comfort air applications in 1989. Many of you may remember that this was a time of definite tribulation in the old industrial economy.
Free trade was aggressively making it's way into popularity in the United States. Soon you had NAFTA and GATT among many new agreements which opened up markets. One consequence was that borders were opened for the practice of making goods in a country with decidedly cheaper labor and then shipping them to the US market for sale.
In terms of cost, domestic manufacturers were getting squeezed and forced off shore for production. This trend heated up in the 1990s and 2000s as the downside of outsourcing became widely apparent in large job losses in the domestic manufacturing.
It was amid this backdrop that Vornado grew and prospered to 25 different product types while still doing it Made in the USA. The question is exactly how did they accomplish what many industry experts deemed impossible?
Keep in mind also that Vornado is not big into advertising. The answer is that they have a type of relationship with their customers that is strongly focused on listening and understanding their needs and meeting those needs.
Vornado rates really well with customers because the company already has their approval before they produce a product. The test marketing they do is one based on paying careful attention to what people are complaining about and turning those features upside down.
Instantly, as with theVornado AQS 500air purifier, Vornado has a market foothold and loyalty.
Vornado AQS 500took advanced technology and put it together in a quieter more efficient package than had been seen before. This positioned the company ahead of the curve in the market. Rather than reacting, Vornado was leading.
Instead of throwing out trial versions like other companies, Vornado took the approach that it could put that energy and capital into creating what the customer wanted in one strong entry into the market.
Actually, what was happening was Vornado giving the customer what it envisioned before he or she could even fully describe that vision.Vornado AQS 500is a small example of a way of doing business that grows while still being Made in the USA.