Editorial: The Reinvention of You

June 11, 2013
Be bold and brand yourself big

It always amazes me when I see products or services that have been “reinvented.” There are so many examples….let’s start with soft drinks. First there was the usual and then those with an extra jolt of caffeine. Then the diet and the low, low calorie—the new 10s! Enter the liquids to flavor water, of all things. And the energy drink mega-bonanza—one of the fastest growing segments in the sports drink industry. And this is just one of many examples of industries that we thought couldn’t change but continue to do so, with stellar results.

Of course I could start with the telecommunications industry but I won’t go there because you know that story. Just let me say this: compared to the innovation occurring at whirlwind speed these days with networking and IP products—the last big innovation in the industry was probably the digital dialer.

Every industry seeks ways to revitalize itself. Case in point is the faucet industry. Think of all the different kinds now available: pull, push, hands-free, lever, pot-filling spigots, rain shower heads in so many styles and finishes. And the packaging industry has been no slouch to all this as well. Did you think that the mayonnaise jar or ketchup bottle could come in a different form factor? Well, yes indeed said those product marketing geniuses around the board room table—think squeeze bottles, flip top, upside-down pourers, you get the message.

Your expertise is needed

So while the security industry has been home to much innovation over the last several years—have you taken the time to reinvent the way you think and the way you are perceived by your customers? One of the critical things that Bill Bozeman said recently at PSA-TEC 2013 was that the industry is now a necessary and that systems integrators have to elevate their thinking as well; that have become indispensable to the consuming public.

There will always be competition—whether it’s the large conglomerates or just your competitor down the block, but here are some simple things you can do to become critical to the consumer in commercial and residential settings:

  • Get your name and your brand out there but better yet, back it up with superior service and attention to client detail. Know what you are doing as far as offering products and specialize in a few vertical markets and learn that niche from every angle.
  • Train your employees in not only technical prowess but business acumen and customer service. Consider adding IT certifications and networking personnel to your ranks.
  • Keep innovating—look at new ways to do things and look at best practices and always, always hone your leadership skills and those of your top management.
  • Become a trusted solutions provider-advisor and don’t just sell product but tell the prospect or customer what you can do to solve their problem or help them do business better. They will appreciate it.
  • Don’t bad mouth the competition—it just looks bad and makes you look childish. Instead, talk about all the strengths you bring to the customer and how you will always be there to help them and maintain their system.

Our time is now; but you may have to do a little reinventing to make yourself successful. You’ll be happy you did.