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  • Enough With Solutions
    Posted by Tony Velocci 8:55 PM on Jun 12, 2011

    With the official start of the Paris Air Show a mere eight days away (June 20), the number of aerospace suppliers hawking the "solutions" they plan to "showcase" at Le Bourget seems to be increasing exponentially, judging from the volume of such emails I receive daily.

    How many of these are actual "solutions" to real problems, versus mature products and services that have been repackaged and offer little in the form of innovative thinking, is an altogether different matter. Based on the countless "solution" on which I have been briefed, my own sense is that when you cut through all the clutter you will find most of the pre-show buzz amounts to a lot of hyperbolic marketing lingo, a problem, by the way, in need of a "solution."

    My own personal wish is that companies get off the me-too "solution" bandwagon and tout what they are doing to differentiate their products from those of their competitors based on innovative product development. As it now stands, companies seem more inclined to slap the word 'solution' on whatever they doing and think they are God's gift to the marketplace. Imagine instead of ads and press releases touting a 'solution,' often referencing some vague description of the problem, companies who actually have a solution talked in terms of "Check out this innovation."

    But why would they do that? It is much easier to be a part of the herd than to separate yourself from the herd by advancing the state of the art. Cheaper too.

    And therein lies the problem behind the inane sales and marketing hype that has become laughably clich.. The practice is not unique to aerospace, of course, but I don't care about those other sectors; I care about aerospace. My gripe is with companies' apparent comfort level with de-emphasizing what they are doing to innovate. (This does not apply to all companies, just many of them.) Pressed to discuss what they are doing to bring innovations to the marketplace, numerous companies tend to stumble, obfuscate and lapse into a lot of double talk.

    The Paris Air Show is the biggest event of its kind, an over-the-top bazaar for promoting every product imaginable. My advice to suppliers: if you truly want your products and services to get the attention you think they deserve, do not talk about your "solutions;" talk about how innovative you are. Not only would that be a refreshing change, it actually might get the attention of people who really are looking for...a solution.

    Tags: AWEIC

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