June 25, 2020

Speaking of wood...

Let’s say that you had a new stove delivered and the guy who wheeled it in accidentally clipped the molding on your kitchen door and broke off a chunk of the wood.

Q: Would you use wood glue or all-purpose glue to fix it?

(BTW - I asked a variation of this question on Twitter and - Twitter being what it is - most people completely missed the point and argued my decision to use glue at all. LOL!!!)

If you’re like me (i.e., not particularly handy), I’d be willing to bet that you’d reach for the wood glue to glue wood. The fact that it’s named wood glue gives me the impression that it’s specially formulated to stick to wood.

Yes, if you’re some kind of glue guru, you will have special insight on the subtle nuances of wood glue vs all-purpose glue and know which to use based on the type of break, the brands of glue, the humidity in the environment, how much you want to spend, how strong the joint needs to be, and so on. Maybe you would say “it depends” and in certain cases you’d actually recommend the all-purpose glue over the wood glue, even to glue wood.

That’s all fine but most people aren’t glue experts!

Here’s the thing...

When they can’t detect a meaningful difference between a set of options, buyers will naturally gravitate to a solution that appears to be specially formulated for their situation. If no such specialization exists, they will usually go with a cheap one.

If you don’t want to compete on price, specializing is a reliable way to race to the top instead of the bottom.