Marketing Your Hazardous Location Products for the Global Customer
By guest writer Behzad Nejad, P. Eng., Director and Consulting Engineer. Hazcon Inc.
The global marketplace for hazardous location (HazLoc) products has an unprecedented opportunity for manufacturers. HazLoc customers no longer value proximity – the internet empowers customers to choose based on their priorities, allowing them instant access to browse options without visiting a showroom, meeting with salespersons, or being pressured to purchase. This instant product access enables the customer to focus on what is most important when purchasing a Hazloc product: safety, quality, speed of delivery, ability to add special features, and of course, the cost.
Savvy manufacturers are taking advantage of the opportunities to market globally. Working with certification bodies worldwide takes the guesswork out of the safety aspect of this Hazloc marketing focus. Given the required certification(s), a global marketing strategy does not compromise a product’s safety.
Some key questions to consider when globally marketing your Hazloc products are:
- Who are your customers?
- Where is there a growing demand for your HazLoc product? Why? What is changing that indicates the opportunity for increased sales?
- What are the emerging markets?
- What economies are primed to welcome your products?
- Is it necessary to have a physical presence where you want your products to be sold?
Manufacturers who choose to ‘go global’ rely less on the local economy’s health and domestic market and rely more on building product awareness on a global scale. They can focus on the aspects that differentiate their products from others available such as the Hazloc product is designed for “rugged industries” or “severe conditions.” Product certification is critical to a global marketing strategy for HazLoc products, as global marketing opportunities are only available if products have the required certifications: North America, ATEX, or UKCA. Safety certification is an attestation that minimum relevant safety standards have been met and the products are safe to be used in the designated hazardous locations for which the product has been evaluated. The regulatory frameworks vary from country to country, and the requirements are met at the product’s design stage.
To summarize, the demand for Hazloc products on a global level is growing. Manufacturers have a real opportunity to expand their reach through product marketing campaigns and working with certification bodies to ensure products meet the requirements for safe use in the desired jurisdiction of the hazardous location. Therefore, taking in these considerations helps get the products used in Hazloc to the market faster and the customer’s online shopping cart sooner.
Behzad Nejad, P.Eng., is the Director and a consulting engineer at Hazcon Inc.. He provides hazardous location consulting services (IECEx, ATEX, Canadian Electrical Code, and National Electrical Code) for manufacturers of electrical products. He has a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and has been a member of Professional Engineers Ontario/Canada since 2013. Behzad’s experience in the industry also includes seven years at CSA Group’s certification agency. He has published and presented technical articles and tutorials on hazardous locations at several IEEE/PCIC conferences. He is also a part-time instructor at Seneca College, teaching electrical courses since 2014. You can reach him at email@example.com.