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Excel Hardware Pte Ltd - Finding the right positioning

Even though branding is often associated with consumer brands, B2B businesses can also benefit from better brand management.

Take Excel Hardware for instance. The company began in 1998 and has grown to become a leading local homeware and hardware solution provider with a wide range of products, including handles, knobs and hinges.  Besides sourcing for new and innovative products from Asian countries, Excel Hardware also offers customised hardware and fixtures.

“We used to distribute our products to contractors and interior designers through dealers. To better cater to the needs of our customers, we began marketing our products directly to contractors and interior designers. ” said Mr Kaden Choa, Operations Manager of Excel Hardware.

Mr Choa sought assistance from the UOB-SMU AEI to understand the business needs of interior designers (IDs), who are Excel Hardware’s key target market. The market study yielded some unexpected results.

“In the past, when we worked with dealers, we were always told that price was a main factor in choosing hardware products. But the feedback from the IDs tells us that they are more concerned with customer service, and the design and availability of products.”

In order to move the Excel Hardware brand up the value chain, the company plans to reduce the number of lower-end products and bring in more higher-end, higher-value products.

As Mr Choa summed up, “Having a third party can help us see beyond the box. In the past, I bought a product based on gut instinct. Now, I base my decision on analysis. If the findings show 70-80% support for the idea, then it gives me confidence to proceed with it.”

  • Market research provides real data, where  analysis can be made to  learn about customer needs
  • Insights are crucial to build a good value proposition
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