How useful are industry standards in construction

May the better win? How industry standards are established

Trust and comparability: this is how standards prevail

Industry standards ensure that solutions can be used for the widest possible range of applications. They establish themselves across the board and make applications, solutions and hardware usable, compatible and comparable across platforms. And they exist in almost all industries and areas, from IT to the food industry to logistics. Unlike a norm, however, these standards are not set by a superordinate body, but, as the name suggests, are defined by companies in the industry. That is why they are also called de facto standards. Standards have just as many advantages for companies as they do for consumers. They simplify product development and accelerate innovation. This means that products get to market faster - and are accepted by a broader group of buyers.

What consumers want

But how are standards defined and how do they prevail over others? To clarify this, it makes sense to look back at the 1970s. In 1972 the first home video formats hit the market in Europe. The manufacturers Philips and Grundig were in charge with the VCR system. Three years later, Sony appeared with Betamax, and another year later JVC with the VHS system appeared on the scene. It quickly became apparent that the first is not necessarily the best.

The pioneers came up with cassette runtimes of 60 minutes. VHS offered at least two hours from the start - and it hit a nerve with consumers. As a result, the remaining market participants tried to assert themselves against VHS with new systems that were not compatible with each other. However, customers do not want an abundance of confusing hardware, but rather a system that works and delivers good quality at a reasonable price. VHS offered all of that - and the others didn't. In addition, Sony, for example, had an extremely strict licensing policy. Not everyone was allowed to produce Betamax devices and so production was slow. Unlike VHS: the inventor JVC allowed almost every electronics manufacturer to produce the recorder. These were therefore constantly and cheaply available on the market.

How VHS prevailed is a vivid example that still works today according to the same laws:

  • Fulfilling consumer demands
  • Provide functioning, simple systems
  • Guarantee availability
  • Offer market prices

Do good and let everyone know

There are also other points. Marketing is one of them. You can develop the best technologies by strictly following the laws above. If nobody knows about it, you will be unsuccessful. A suitable marketing strategy that focuses on the desired target group is therefore essential. And: Nobody acts alone in the market. A future industry standard can only assert itself if you enter into cooperations - see the VHS example. Even Windows has long since stopped running exclusively on IBM computers on which the MS-DOS preceding the standard system was originally delivered, but now also on all other PCs.

With industry standards to become the market leader

The price of the product also plays a role. The future standard does not have to be the cheapest. An example of this is Apple: The company initially conquered a niche market with high-priced products and only later conquered the masses. But it is well known that consumers prefer to pay less for comparable products. Exorbitant prices for average performance are almost a guarantee that the technology will disappear from the market.

If, under these premises, it is possible to set an industry standard, in other words, to bring a technology onto the market that is widely accepted and successful with consumers, the profit for the company is enormous. It secures market power and influence and is well on the way to achieving market leadership in its industry.

Technology becomes standard

Industry standards create trust and orientation among consumers, they accelerate the development of new products and their market readiness. A technology or a product can only become a standard if it meets certain criteria. The requirements of the consumers have to be met, the price has to be right as well as the availability. Then the popular technology or product spreads on the market and first becomes a must-have - and then the standard.

  • Nothing works without marketing.
  • If an industry standard is successfully developed, influence and market leadership beckon.

Industry standards meet consumer demands in terms of functionality, price and availability.