Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.
– Henry Ford
It’s a “dog-eat-dog” world out there. Or is it? In the powder coating applicator universe, experience has taught us that there’s nothing to be gained by creating rivalries, dividing and conquering or otherwise throwing obstacles in the way of our competitors. That’s why we were so pleased when we were approached to write a regular column in PCI Magazine. We viewed it as an opportunity to do much more than merely pontificate about powder coating ideas or views. We envisioned this space as a potential forum where all of us in the industry could exchange opinions and advice, and really air out the things that are on our minds. Truth be told, we, as powder coaters, are all in this together and the more we can support one another and create visibility, brand awareness and positive news about the powder coating industry, the more we will all benefit.
Our intent is to provoke questions, generate discussion and even move people in the powder coating industry to action. Similarly, we invite you to check out PowderCoatingZone.com (PCZ) so you’ll know what we’re talking about when we say it’s time to elevate our industry to the next level, to educate the consumer about the benefits of powder coating, to actually spell out the advantages over spray painting, wet paint and other costlier, less efficient and less environmentally responsible methods.
Available to us all alongside the traditional business-to-business customer is the relatively untapped market of business-to-consumer. It is a tremendous opportunity for all powder coating applicators but one that demands a consolidated effort to market. We fear that we’re not getting the word out, that we’re not advocating for our industry, and that we’re not explaining to this segment of the market that which makes powder coating such a great finishing process. It’s time to get groups like the Air Quality Management District (AQMD), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and others to tout our benefits as a lead alternative that’s safe around children and pregnant women, resistant to chipping and peeling, and a practical component of green technology. But that can be accomplished only by banding together and making our voices heard.
PCZ encourages you to get involved by contributing your comments to our blog discussions and offering suggestions on how we can make the site even more relevant for powder coaters and customers alike. You can actually become a member of Powder Coating Zone, which is endorsed by Chemical Coaters Association International. We offer significant discount opportunities to PCI members. The intent of the site is to actively promote the powder coating “brand” just as professional organizations, councils and advocacy groups have successfully supported architects, tile manufacturers, welders and others. PCZ will feature insightful articles, provide powder coating advice and answer Q&A’s and connect customers with powder coaters.
But, we as powder coaters need to take the message even further by tapping into all forms of media and available online and conventional marketing tools, including social media. Various leaders within our industry are becoming more aware of the importance of marketing our profession to the general public, promoting our products and technologies, and pointing out the misconceptions. Still, too many jobs are being lost to competing wet paint methods due to lack of visibility and awareness, and consolidation within our industry.
For customers to get excited about what our industry has to offer, first we must get excited. And that excitement needs to translate to action, whether through web site promotion, industry forums, community trade fairs, involvement with local business organizations or any number of other promotional avenues. We have an amazing technology. Why are we hiding it, and from whom?
We look forward to presenting more thoughts for discussion in upcoming issues. Our next post will look into the expanding phenomenon of Social Media, i.e., Facebook, Twitter, YouTube et al as a marketing tool, and how our industry can capitalize on this trend for more exposure and positive image building.