At Bison Mat, we understand that floor mats haven’t seen the advancements in tech that handheld devices and microwave ovens have, but that doesn’t meant that we aren’t impacted by the same trends.
If your house has appliances from the 2010’s, you’ll probably need to replace them sooner than houses with appliances from the 1980’s. That statement is made anecdotally of course. We don’t have the research to back it up. We could probably get it if we wanted to. But we’re business owners that also have to empty the trash and call people back. So as much as we love to waste time, we’ll keep things light.
The point is that new appliances look cooler than old appliances, but they don’t last. Things aren’t made as good as they used to be made. The more we look forward to the next innovation, the more we seem to become less and less concerned about making what we have last.
Knowing Our Competition
Our biggest competitor for our chair mats isn’t the guys making an exquisitely designed glass mat or a company redesigning offices with space efficiency and energy balance in mind. No. Our biggest competitor is the cheap guys. The ones who sell you a mat today that will be creased and looking old by October, who know you’ll keep it for another 12 or 24 months after that before you buy another one. Our biggest competitor is the tendency people have to not value quality under their feet — which ultimately causes damage to their floors and chairs and distracts them from productivity and performance. Our biggest competitor is the tolerance people have built up to mediocrity.
What Good is a Guarantee?
What’s the old saying that Big Tom Callahan used to say? Something about a guarantee only being as good as the box it’s written on? That you can get a good look at a butcher if you…we don’t remember. At Bison Mat, we don’t really go out of our way to talk about the guarantee on our products. We let the quality of our products do that messaging for us.
What good is a guarantee, after all? Why spend money on products that you’re already thinking about replacing? For some products and in some contexts, it makes sense. Especially as production quality goes down. You want to know that the company who built your refrigerator has your back in 6 months or 2 years.
But doesn’t a better guarantee come from spending money on a product that you know will last? Isn’t it a better move to buy the upgrade now? That may not always be possible, which we understand. Like we said…we’re business owners. We know that leaner seasons call for more careful spending. But we also know that most people who buy our product don’t have to replace it in 6 months…or in 2 years…or in 10 years…etc. We know that the money they spend today won’t have to be spent again in a few months or years.
Quality is still a worthwhile investment.
Our promise to our customers isn’t about the quality of a chair mat. It’s about a commitment to quality, honesty, hard work, and partnership. We’ve said it a million times…that we’re on a relentless pursuit of one-time customers. When you buy a Bison Mat, you don’t have to buy another one. But what we find is that many of our customers do come back to us, and they do buy another one. But it’s because they’re outfitting other offices. They’re designing other places and protecting other areas. They come back…not to fix what’s broken, but to bring other parts of their home, office, or workspace up to the standard that their Bison Mat set.
And that makes us proud.
Quality isn’t a thing of the past. We probably just need to look harder to find it.