Sell on value, not price

Despite the rough waters currently facing the marine industry, Hubbell Inc. is staying the course in terms of its distribution strategy.
While Hubbell Inc. marked its 120th anniversary last year, the marine electrical products division can trace its origins to the early 1950s. Times certainly have changed since then, but Hubbell still finds success doing business today the way it was done back then, by developing quality products and selling them through two-step distribution.

“Our strength is our distributors,” says Joe DiMaria, director of marine marketing and sales for the company, based in Milford, Conn. “We get good results with them.”

Selling to the big box marine stores means selling on price, he explains, a step that would cheapen its products. In a down market, the pressure to lower prices becomes more intense, which hits companies already selling on price harder than those that emphasize value for the dollar, DiMaria says.

Likewise, selling directly to marinas holds no appeal because of the logistics involved in stocking and shipping small orders. “We don’t want to do anything to upset our distributor/dealer network,” DiMaria says. “We have excellent fill rates, so customers don’t have to wait, and a virtually nonexistent failure rate.”

Still, given the current economic climate, has Hubbell considered changing the way products get to market? “Oh, yes,” DiMaria says, “we look at it from time to time. But the bottom line is that if you make a good product and charge a fair price, customers get what they pay for. We’re not about cheapening our products and selling them at a discount.”

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