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A Case for Comparative Product Analysis

BY SUE KALAIN

comparative analysisWith one click of the mouse your customer can order a product from the other side of the world and have it in days. The sources of your competition can come from just about anywhere in the world so you will need all the tools at your disposal to participate successfully in this highly competitive environment.

One of those tools is comparative product testing. With the increase in competition and customer interest in the comparative quality and performance of products, it is essential for manufacturers to do comparative testing.

If you have never done comparative testing or it has been several years or even decades, consider doing so now. Even though your product(s) may be distinctive, several alternative products with similar quality and price to satisfy customer needs likely are available.

Why will someone buy from you unless you’re offering some benefit?

Comparative product testing is of great importance because in today’s highly competitive marketplace, just saying you’re the best won’t cut it. However, giving your sales and marketing team a leg up by being able to prove it enables you to single out your products as superior to your competitor. This type of data will provide valuable information for your product marketing strategies.

How exactly do you market your product above all the rest?

A thorough competitive product analysis will help you obtain important baseline information necessary to evaluate your position within the industry, for example:

  • Are you meeting the expectations of service?
  • Are you compliant with current specifications?
  • Does your product meet the required quality standards?
  • Is product performance as advertised?
  • How does your product perform against similar competitor products?
  • It can identify any issues in product design, quality control and performance.

To be able to identify strengths and weaknesses in your product(s) or in the competition relative to those of your own product will give you the edge in obtaining customer confidence. You will have the valuable verifiable data to place your product above the rest. There is no substitute for being able to back up your claims with recent hard testing data. The time to get this information is not after you have lost a customer to your competitors.

Several examples of valve tests against competitors:

  • Ball or trunnion valve cycle torque and seal integrity testing while under pressures running from minimal up to full advertised pressures. Testing is conducted using nitrogen, air or water.
  • Hydrostatic proof and burst testing to test for design integrity.
  • Cycle testing, up to 10,000 cycles while under full advertised pressure using nitrogen or water.
  • CNG manifold testing for extended long term cycle testing up to 100,000 cycles at full advertised pressures using compressed air.
  • Needle valve or bellows valve cycle and closing torque measurements at internal pressures ranging from minimal up to full advertised pressures.
  • Needle valve or bellows valve extended cycle testing using Nitrogen, air or water at full advertised pressures.
  • High and low temperature various pressure cycle and leakage testing.
  • Comprehensive design analysis that contain detailed images and drawings of the significant individual components that explain the test results.
  • Comparison chemical analysis of materials of construction.

The auto industry learned some hard lessons back in the 1980s. They weren’t concerned about the foreign companies that were trying to break into the American market. Soon enough they learned their mistake and it took decades to recover --after manufacturers closed and millions were lost to the competition.

Be proactive. Make it a priority to know about your competitors, their products and how you measure up.

Sue Kalain is owner and president of Kalain Analytical. Reach her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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