"Got Milk?", "Go RV-ing!", "Beef It’s What’s For Dinner" (cue the high-energy jingle for that one)…
These are all tag lines that I’m sure all my U.S. followers will remember. They are short but powerful statements to create a reminder about what you could be missing out on like the health benefits of Milk where you will become strong and attractive as the celebrities and athletes that helped the Dairy Farmers of America coin the phrase. The “Go RV-ing” campaign showed America that you are only a purchase away from living the American dream and traveling across the country from Key West to Anchorage. Hungry and don’t know what to make for dinner? The beef industry wanted you to know that beef was the perfect option and was always accompanied by family and togetherness (especially a hearty meal like a beef roast)! You will notice that each of these messages was simple yet delivered a consistent and supportive message across the entire industry. These industries recognized that the demand for each was decreasing and pooled their money together into a
marketing campaign. This was brilliant!
In the Smart Buildings Industry (more specifically FDD/analytics) we face the same type of challenge. We have an environment in which the value of analytics being applied to a building is, at best, inconsistent and at its worst, wildly misunderstood. In my mind, the misunderstanding and the lack of consistency around what exactly analytics can do to change the way buildings are operated has worsened by the industry and its companies. I have heard that benefits range anywhere from IAQ to energy savings and operational improvements to capital planning. Some claim that analytics must be leveraged and utilized by engineers while others claim it is a tool intended for the “boots on the ground”. One of the biggest issues with all of the previous statements is that they are all in a way...true. If the above statements are true, what is the issue? Well, I believe this creates a lot of consumer confusion and confusion never leads to confidence. Confused consumers without confidence that already lack the trust in new technology promotion will never engage and adopt. These consumers will patiently wait until the dust settles and everyone has the same or at least similar answers to, “What do you do with analytics? Who is your provider?”. Once that happens, the value will be clear to potential users who will finally enter a “competitive” atmosphere within this space and technology.
I am often asked whom our main competitor is within this space and my answer lately has changed from a list of companies to “nobody”. I look at everyone as a potential partner in driving market demand. Everyone has a responsibility in removing the confusion around messaging and providing the market with one simple and succinct message. I/We at Resolute want to create friendly competition within this marketplace. We love the idea of putting our technology against other providers and creating an environment in which competition drives innovation with the ultimate benefit going to the customer. “Got Milk” was not created by Farmer John to sell more milk than Farmer Fred. It was created “together” by John, Fred, and all the other dairy farmers in America to drive demand that was diminishing.
So how do we get there? It won’t be easy or cheap but one thing it will need is to be “together”. When I say “together”, I am referring to other companies within this building analytics space working with each other to achieve a singular goal. In our industry, the demand has never truly been there and we have not worked together to create it. This is evident by the siloed efforts when looking at all the job postings for “market demand generator” and similar titles. The issue I see this causing is consumer confusion as the value messaging is as inconsistent as ever. We need a consistent set of values and messaging that we all follow and we need to create this together. The FDD solution providers of the world are not competitors at this time. If we were competitors, we would have conversations like “which FDD are you selecting for your building?” not “let me tell you why FDD is important for your building” and attempt to chase that sale. Remember, “Got Milk” was not created by Farmer John to sell more milk than Farmer Fred. It was created by John, Fred, and every other dairy farmer in America to drive demand that was diminishing.