Prestar, the world-renowned industrial trolley producer, needs little introduction. Having sold millions of their trolleys all over the world, even the average Joe has heard of the company. Maybe you even have one of their products in your store room.
When I was tasked to write an article about Prestar, I figured it would be a walk in the park. How hard could it be to introduce an already established brand, one that we’ve written about before? Piece of cake right?
As I quickly found out, it wasn’t as simple.
The Elusive Industrial Giant
Even after numerous Google searches (past the first page), there was no record of the history of Prestar. No background, no information about its owners or key appointments, hardly a presence online.
For a company with over 50 years of global distribution experience, its not even clear what their company’s net worth is. Other than their (very sparse) website, there is nothing on the internet that tells us anything remotely useful about the brand.
As I pondered over how to begin this article, I came across an official video by the company, the only online marketing attempt that the brand has made (to my knowledge). The kitschy and dated graphics, coupled with the odd attempt at general English accent, made the video a little difficult to sit through. Here, take a look for yourself:
However, there was a moment in the video that caught my attention: the idea of monozukuri.
Monozukuri, the spirit of manufacture
The idea of monozukuri is a uniquely Japanese ethos, one that has only been in use for the last 25 years or so. At the surface level, mono refers to a product and zukuri means the act of making. The rough translation of the word to English would be “craftsmanship”. But monozukuri is more than that.
According to monozukuri theorist Professor Takahiro Fujimoto of the Manufacturing Management Research Center at the University of Tokyo, it is “art, science and craft of making things”.
To put that in very simple terms, Prestar prides itself in the highest levels of craftsmanship and continuing excellence in order to manufacture superior products. In trying to achieving this goal, the company believes in promoting another enduring company principle, Uesugi-style.
The Best Products come from the Best People
Uesugi-style was a ethos named after the founder of Prestar. A blanket statement used to describe a “smart and speedy, low-cost production system” that has been the primary aim of the company since its conception. By empowering their “Uesugi People” (their employees) to generate new ideas for improving efficiency in production and manufacturing, the company continually improves on itself.
For example, the company uses a 1km long production line to save time during the manufacturing process as the product never stops being developed along the line. Also, the company reuses excess material along the production line to create other products, saving the costs of waste product and also evidences the ideas of monozukuri and Uesugi-style that are deeply embedded in the DNA of the company.
The Best Products need no Introduction
At this point in my research, I hit upon a realisation about Prestar. In my single-minded goal of finding out of the history of the company, I might have failed to see the true goal that they have set for themselves. Suddenly it was clear:
Let the product do the talking.
It’s the reason why you have never seen a Prestar advertisement, yet everyone who uses a trolley seems to be using a Prestar one. It’s the reason why they seem to put zero effort into marketing themselves in any manner but still reap major profits year on year. It stands above having a modern looking website, a well-thought out marketing plan and even an online presence. Product excellence remains priority numero uno, and that’s something we can learn from in our business and lives.
Make the best possible product and it will sell itself.
Everyone knows that word of mouth is the best form of marketing a company can get. Having a product that people will recommend to friends is the best bet to grow consistently and establish yourself as the best. Like I mentioned in my past article “5 small changes for Bigger Profits” This applies whether regardless of your company’s size and reach. Always strive to specialise and be the best in class!
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