A Technomarket Profiling Case History

How Technomarket Profiling was used to correlate high performance lubrication with value.


Before Technomarket Profiling was undertaken, this single page in a lubricants catalog was the only information the company offered on the product. Their customers were expected to base their buy decision solely on this summary of product specifications, plus the promise that unspecified lubrication services were included in the price.

The company claimed this product was a high performance lubricant. Price premiums were justified by the inclusion of unspecified services. Competitors began to offer services also; customers were asking—

”Why should I pay more if you can’t even show me why its better than a standard lubricant?”

The sales force had no answer. A market research report on lubricants the company had commissioned had even less to say about the price question —

“The price of industrial lubricants ranges from $0.55/lb. to $5.00/lb. depending on performance characteristics and the amount of service provided by the supplier.”

Clearly, something more was needed. Technomarket Profiling was commissioned.

Technomarket Profiling showed, for the first time, a direct correlation between premium performance lubrication and value. All competitive products were evaluated through the use of experiential modeling.

A Glossary of properties was developed and all properties were then measured, ranked and put into interactive Excel spreadsheets by an Expert Panel comprised of both internal and external experts in lubricant technologies.

Click here for a full sample glossary on another project - PVC siding.

Click here for a sample Excel spreadsheet on aonther project - PVC siding.

General performance areas were dissected into subfactors. The relationship between TMP Value and lubrication economics was determined for all important industrial applications.

One of the most stunning results was the Lubrication Economic Ratio vs. TMP Value and the Lubricant Price vs. TMP Value graphs shown directly below. ”TMP Value” is the sum of all performance factors and subfactors; these graphs demonstrate that each application requires a specific TMP Value for best overall economics. For additional detail, see the other examples at the bottom of this page (Figures 1-4).

This graph shows that a product with a TMP Value of 1200 is required for best overall economics. (Each point on the curve represents a different product.)

This graph shows that a product with a TMP Value of 1200 is required for best overall economics. (Each point on the curve represents a different product.)

Internal and external experts participated in experiential modeling sessions. The structured process ranked all properties common to bearing grease and developed a scale which describes overall performance in the machine.

No longer is it necessary for the customer to decipher how NLGI Grade, Thickener Type, Dropping Point, Base Fluid Viscosity, Timken EP, and Four Ball EP Test correlate with lubrication performance and economics. It is only necessary to understand that these correlations have been made by lubrication experts who can now simply explain the difference between high and standard performance.

Standard laboratory tests were correlated with TMP Value. The company also makes this data available to interested customers.

Technomarket Profiling established the correlation between TMP Value and unit lubricant price. The sales force now had a valuable tool which could be used to illustrate why it is necessary to use more expensive additives to produce higher TMP values. The company is now stressing that they are the lowest cost producer of each TMP Value category. No longer is it possible for competitors to claim that they have the same product because of nondescript specifications that do not correlate with machine performance.

Figure 1: Template for ranking performance factors of High vs. Standard performance products. Input was gathered from internal & external industry experts

Figure 2: Resulting data is plotted as ’Primary Properties’ graph, which ranks & shows relationships between major performance areas & criteria.

Figure 3 & 4: Major performance areas are further broken down into ‘Subfactors’, two of which are shown here. They are then ranked according to their importance to the market. Note that the scale for ’TMP Value’ (y-axis) differs from graph to graph, reflecting the relative importance of all the different properties as seen by the market.