Editorial by Ali Baysal | FASTENER EURASIA MAGAZINE
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Could your competitor mislead you?

There are some leading firms in the world in the fasteners sector as there are some prominent firms in every sector. These firms are taken as an example and followed by their own competitors and smaller firms in an effort to implement their methods of investments, strategies, promotion, and marketing.

When a large company decides to attend a fair, other companies follow to participate thinking "if that company is participating, then it is the right market, the right fair." They act on the perception of "they must be knowing what to do. I must be there where ever my rival is." This can be true for most sectors. But how right is it for our industry?

A company that manufactures furniture accessories can participate in the furniture fair, and a company that manufactures automotive or white goods can participate in the supplier industry. A company that produces fabrics can participate in the textile fair. A company that produces machine parts can participate in the Machinery Manufacturing Fair. Because both customers and competitors will be there.

 Which fair must a fastener manufacturer firm attend?

As I have been in publishing business for 23 years, 16 of which in the fasteners sector I have participated in hundreds of fairs in different countries around the world and as Fastener Eurasia Magazine, we participate in more than 50 sectoral fairs per year. And I find it hard to understand the fact that the number of exhibitors producing fasteners in any sectoral fair does not exceed 3 or 4.  However, both exhibitor and visitor profile of the sectoral fairs are the right audiences with the potential to use fasteners.

Why do fastener manufacturers show presence in fairs where their competitors attend but not where the customers are? The visitors of those fairs are largely fastener wholesalers. I have not seen for years that fastener end-users come to visit a fair. Even if they do, it is in a very small number. So is it worth spending all this time and money just to reach the wholesaler?

The questions to ask

Why don't the companies that have participated in fastener fairs for years ask the organizing companies: Why don't end-users come to these fairs as visitors? Why isn’t there enough promotion on this issue?
You must shake off the psychology of “He/she is attending and I should be there at fastener fairs". You should try the sectoral exhibitions more. Because fasteners are used in every sector. You should identify the sectors closest to your product range and contact the end-users directly. The end-users you contact can direct you to the wholesaler they work with. But reaching the wholesaler should not be your primary goal.

The world industry is developing mainly in newly developing countries with cheap labor. In the countries such as Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Czechia and Russia, the production industry is increasing significantly. Many European countries are making new investments there. Also, remember the potentials in the Middle East and Africa. To access new markets, new customers, you should try new regions and new fairs.

 You don't have to seek new customers only where an organizer holds the fasteners fair. Be the one who determines the region, fair and sector.

Also, do not ignore these questions: While you are focusing on attending the fair following your rival, may the rival company leading you astray? Or should you follow the world instead of following your competitor?