03 Jul Generic Landscape Lighting Companies Are Fading Away, Landscape Lighting Design and Build Specialists are Shining through
I Remember the aisles of generic food products at the grocery stores back while shopping with my mom as a kid during the recession of the 1980’s? Generic products (not to be confused with store or house brand named products, although they are identical in quality) were a fad of the early 1980s. With stark packaging, listing little more than the product name, ingredients, nutritional information, manufacturer and UPC bar code.
The idea behind them was by eliminating the cost for logos, descriptive copy, and photos/illustrations on the packaging, the savings could be passed on to consumers. Even though much of these were stock images anyway and in reality bore little extra cost in the actual manufacturing process.
Just like the manufacturers of those cans of generic food products, during the recent recession many landscape lighting companies put themselves into a commodity market where the consumer chooses product based on price.
Manufacturers of those generic foods told us what was in the can was the same thing you would get if you bought the name brand products. They also told us that the reason they could sell at low prices was because they didn’t do any advertising and skipped the fancy labels on the can. Essentially during the recession of the 80’s manufacturers of these products were banking on cash challenged consumers being attracted to their low prices for what they claimed to be the same quality of products they would get if they purchased the more expensive name brands.
Here today, gone tomorrow
My recollection is that those products occupied a few isles at the supermarket during the early years of the recession and consumers did give them a try. But by the end of the recession consumers stopped buying them and the aisles went away and generic products completely disappeared by 1988. My theory is that consumers discovered the products weren’t the same quality as the name brands, the quality of the food often varied from purchase to purchase, and even at a lower price buying them just wasn’t worth it. I can tell you from my own experience that my family wouldn’t eat the generic spinach. For my family saving money on generic foods really didn’t save us any money at all because what we bought didn’t serve the purpose for buying it.
I would suggest the same thing is currently happening to many landscape lighting companies who resorted to similar tactics. To lower their prices they too at the start of the recent recession took on generic labels and stopped doing any marketing and advertising. They also offered their services with the promise that even at low prices consumers would get the same quality project the well known name brand contractors were offering. Like the generic food manufacturers of the 80’s, now that the economy is improving, these contractors are finding it hard to sell anything at all.
Here’s my message
This should serve as a wake-up call for landscape lighting companies who want to stay in business and actually earn enough money to live well, maybe even eventually be able to retire when their body’s give out due to old age. Let’s face it, if your selling strategy is to be the lowest price, you need to be the loser to win. When consumers are short on money they may be willing to give you a try, but if your offering leaves a bad taste in their mouth they will likely go back to buying from the name brands as their income improves.
If you are having a hard time accepting my thoughts in this article just take a look around you. All over the country I am hearing from name brand landscape lighting specialists who are overwhelmed with work, are raising their prices and desperately need more staff to help them get the work done. At the same time generic counterparts are complaining that they have very little work and consumers inquiring about their services are still aggressively beating them up on price. Like the generic vegetables, I am pretty confident many companies with generic labels will soon be gone from the aisles where consumers shop for a landscape lighting designer builder..
Think about it.
If you brought a 30 pack of generic beer to a Super Bowl party, would your buddies let you in?
This landscape lighting blog is published by Mike Gambino of Gambino landscape lighting inc. all rights reserved. Mike is a professional landscape lighting system designer/ builder and has been designing, installing and maintaining landscape lighting systems for more than 20 years. Mike resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife and 2 sons. To visit his website go to www.Gambinolighting.com . To inquire about hiring Mike please click here .
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