Selling Steel as a Commodity to Selling Steel as a Brand
By definition, commodity is raw material or primary product that is sold and processed further to produce a finished product. As steel is a rather versatile and useful commodity, it was initially sold as a commodity which would then be used in the required industry and form. However, branding and marketing it, was not on the cards in the initial days when the industry was slowly expanding.
Creating a brand recall for a commodity that wasn’t fully in the common man’s domain wasn’t an easy task. But with time, the common man became much more aware of every component that was involved in the making of the final product. Simultaneously, brands felt the need for branding, to retain more customers and spread awareness.
Branding a product meant giving an otherwise indistinguishable product a unique identity. Following the success of branding, companies could also use it to their benefit by charging a premium price for assured quality and reassurance that could only be given by a brand. It started off with products that were at the consumer’s end but soon expanded to other categories – with growing awareness and knowledge, there was a market for branded steel goods that the consumer could ask for by name. They made their way into the retail segment – thus taking the steel industry forward by leaps and bounds.
Branding steel also meant being safe amidst market fluctuations. Experts have even cited that branding commodities could also help develop the relations between buyers and suppliers. Branding the products also meant that the workers and manufacturers would take a greater interest and would thus have more commitment towards the process.
Today, even the common man is actively involved in processes that were previously considered to be the fabricator’s job. A wider reach has enabled the industry to make the audience aware of its brand and benefits and the goal – that every consumer would ask for the brand – is well within reach.
As a brand, APL Apollo has grown considerably in the past few years. Today, we are one of the top five steel tube manufacturers in the world and we have crossed the milestone of producing 2 million tonnes of steel annually. We have developed more economical, eco-friendly and sustainable products that are used in the development of the country every day. Previously, we manufactured steel sheets and pipes that could be a part of any industry. Today we have branched into consumer facing products like window sections and door frames. In this scenario, branding has made our customer aware of these products and today, they know our product by the name ‘Chaukhat’. This has widened our reach and increased our customer retention and satisfaction.