The Duracell Concept
It is a testimony to the power of marketing that for the vast majority of people, there is an automatic association with Duracell batteries and their superior longevity compared to virtually any other brand of battery. Who of us of a certain age can forget the memorable ‘Drumming Bunny’ TV advertising campaign that began in 1973 where the rabbit continued to play the drums long after all of its competitors had stopped? Ever since the bunny has epitomized Duracell’s superior battery longevity compared to ordinary zinc carbon batteries. However, marketing and advertising can only do so much because to achieve real long-term success, the product must live up to the level of expectation created for it. Although marketing had created the image, the fact is that Duracell batteries really do provide a much longer working life and therefore much greater value for money.
Despite having experienced this as a truth, I must confess that last Christmas I could not resist the attraction of batteries bearing a well-known name (Kodak) being offered at a fraction of the price of the equivalent Duracell batteries. I soon discovered to my cost that the Kodak batteries were cheap for a very good reason – they only lasted a few hours before needing to be replaced compared to the several day’s life that I had been getting from the more ‘expensive’ Duracell batteries. When I took a closer look, to my great shame, I discovered that the Kodak batteries had been made in China. The Duracell batteries, on the other hand, had been manufactured in Belgium. And when I worked out the ‘whole life cost’, in real terms the Duracell batteries cost much, much less than the apparently ‘cheap’ Kodak batteries. The reason for telling this story is that there is a direct correlation between Duracell batteries and (genuine, made in The Netherlands) Dunlop conveyor belts.
Made to last
As with batteries, although they may look the same, there are often huge differences between one conveyor belt and another, even though they both claim to meet certain specifications and international standards of quality. The biggest source of low-price belting imported into Europe is China. As with the approach they use for virtually every other industrial market, their strategy is based on mass-volume manufacturing at barely acceptable (and often unacceptable) standards of quality at hugely subsidized prices in an effort to force their competitors out of business.
As with just about any product, the price ultimately determines the quality. In the case of imported conveyor belts, this is reflected in the repeated repairs, general lack of resistance to wear and tear and accidental damage, and ultimately, much shorter operational lifetimes. Whereas cheap import belts are definitely not made to last, we are very proud to say that, without exception, every belt we manufacture at Dunlop Conveyor Belting is specifically engineered to do exactly the opposite.
To support our claims, we are able to provide a wealth of technical evidence based on laboratory testing and real-life examples in the form of numerous case studies that prove how our belts can quite easily last for up to four or five times longer than a low-grade imported belt. However, this is not a new strategy for us. In fact, we could argue that we have been applying the principle of ‘lowest lifetime cost’ even before it was first applied by Duracell themselves! It is perhaps fortunate for potential converts to Duracell that the level of capital outlay required to put batteries to the test is a very different proposition compared to trialing a premier-grade Dunlop industrial conveyor belt. The best approach is to select a conveyor that places the toughest demands on the conveyor belts or, in other words, has the most problems in terms of the frequency of repairs and replacements. I am totally confident that you will find that the ‘Duracell concept’ applies. Or should it be renamed ‘The Dunlop concept’?
All Dunlop belts are specifically engineered to provide the longest possible operational lifetime