Written by ZOOZ
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| Issue 63 |
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Ari Manor, CEO, ZOOZ
An interview with a senior executive
Rafi Ben-Josef, CEO of Kapro
- Number of company
90 employees in Israel, 150 in China and 4 in the U.S.
- We provide: Layout, marking and measuring tools for the DIY and professional markets.
- I have been in my
position for: Two and a half years.
I have been working at Kapro for 15 years. I started in sales, marketing and purchasing positions. Then I was promoted to VP of Operations and Deputy CEO, which eventually led to the CEO position at the company. I have a Bachelor’s degree in History from Haifa University and an M.B.A. from Derby University.
- What I like about the
job: The international challenges – working with different cultures all over the world. Kapro works with over 50 countries and sells our products in every continent. The challenge is to develop good communication with people that are very different from each other, all over the world. Customers and suppliers with very different mentalities, cultures and behaviors really fascinate me.
- The most difficult
part of the job: Parting with people, in other words dismissing employees.
- Goals I want to
attain: My long-term goal is to significantly strengthen the Kapro brand worldwide. I want Kapro to be identified and directly associated with quality, innovation, and with unique capabilities that only we possess. I believe that this goal will translate to a substantial increase in sales, revenues, and ultimately to strengthening the value we represent, throughout the world.
- Our vision: Kapro offers the world tools and instruments that are superior in quality, excellence and constant innovation. The company is strict about protecting the environment for future generations, and is a source of growth, identification, pride and welfare for all its partners – customers, employees, suppliers, owners, and the community. And finally, the name
Kapro represents excellence and success throughout the entire world.
This is a very comprehensive vision that we have had for years. It addresses the community in which we live, the company owners and employees, and encompasses all the values that guide our conduct at Kapro.
- Original products
in the field: Kapro has over a hundred patents. Our levels are a very well developed niche. Our patents are turning levels into a much more user-friendly product. For example – Plumb Site® has a front view of the plumb vial through a one-to-one mirror reflection of the vial, making it easier for the user. We also have a new patent – Opti-Vision™, which has a red bubble in the level’s vial. The stark contrast between the bubble and the vial background makes it easier to see, improving speed and accuracy for the user.
- Sources of
innovation: We devote a great deal of executive attention to innovation, and have always managed innovation in a structured manner. We have a product team and a marketing manager. We conduct innovation rounds and use inventive thinking tools. We have an annual innovation work plan and goals that are measured each and every month. Innovation at Kapro is managed by Shahar Harrari (our company Innovation Manager) and we have a great time with it!
Recommended professional book:
Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely, which deals with the subtle and hidden forces that shape our decisions.
- Kapro’s website:
- Send feedback to
- Would you like to be interviewed?: contact us
A guest column: Neta Weinrib – On B2B marketing of technological products
What’s in a Name
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
From Romeo and Juliet
So what does Shakespeare have to do with marketing high tech?
If you recall, the
previous column summarized the strategic analysis stage. Now that we know what we want to sell and to whom, the time has come to put our strategy in action. This is done along two main interconnected channels:
1. Developing a marketing plan
2. Creating distribution and sales channels
The next columns will discuss various aspects of these topics.
One of the first decisions that you have to make is what to name the product. If the company is a new start-up, you also need to come up with a company name. The company and product names, the logo and the colors –all these suddenly become an important topic of discussion at the company. Everyone has an opinion, and emotions can run high...
And this is where Shakespeare enters the picture.
For a product that is mainly technological and sold to businesses, the sales process, meaning the process of decision making in the purchasing organization, is mainly rational. Ultimately, what sells the product is its functionality.
And, like a rose, which will smell just as sweet regardless of its name, the product will also sell (or not) regardless of its name (or the company’s name or logo).
What is important when choosing a name?
- As a start-up, your ability to support more than one brand is very limited. Therefore, choose a company name and
integrate it with the names of all your products. This will also save you problems with registering the names (see next clause).
- Check that the name you have chosen is available and
register it (this is what lawyers are for). The name cannot be a real word, because then you will not be able to register it.
- Choose a name with an available
domain (preferably with a .com suffix).
- Choose a name that
sounds different from the competitors’ names, or companies in similar industries.
- Choose a name that is easy to write, read and pronounce.
- If possible, choose a name that also refers to what the company does. The name should preferably not be too specific, since what you do will change and evolve
The names you have chosen will assume significant and importance once you start working. Your successes and failures will ultimately affect how your name is received and perceived. Did you botch something with a customer? Now your name has become very significant – the customer doesn’t want to hear it again. On the other hand – if you made a great sale to a big customer –suddenly everyone knows who you are. The name you chose a year ago begins to have value.
More food for thought: Heard of Frigidaire and Pelephone? These are company names that have become synonymous with certain products. Studies have shown that anyone that manages to cause a technology to become synonymous with its company name is guaranteed to become a market leader. The chances of this happening are small, but I am all for aiming high...
- The column was written by: Neta Weinrib, an expert on marketing technological products. Information about Neta appears
More information about marketing assistance for technological products appears
An innovation which
surprised the world market and competitors
This time about a charming robot that vacuums dirt.
In 1990, three scientists from the Robotics Department at MIT got together and started a company with the goal of developing and marketing useful robots. They called their company iRobot, apparently inspired by Isaac Asimov’s story I, Robot. The first robots they developed were designed to explore Space, locate and neutralize landmines, and carry military equipment. But in 2002, they developed Roomba, the company’s first household robot.
Roomba is a vacuum-cleaner robot for private homes. The idea was proposed by a group of iRobot employees, and after coming up with the idea they were given only two weeks to develop a concept. They developed a revolutionary and successful solution, which changed the way people clean their homes.
Roomba is a flat and fairly compact disc-shaped robot (only 9 cm high). It uses the sensors on it to move around independently and make its way around the entire room, including under the sofas and cupboards, while vacuuming impressive amounts of dust and dirt, making “human” sweeping and vacuuming obsolete.
Roomba can clean around obstacles (such as chairs, for example) and stops before going down a stairwell or out to the garden. It can get on and off carpets and rugs, and cleans them too, of course. It takes Roomba between 15-30 minutes to thoroughly clean a room. When it has finished its rounds, it returns to its charger to recharge. You can program it to clean at a preset time (such as once a day), or simply turn it on when you leave home and come back to a clean house. The dirt it vacuums is stored in a plastic container, which can be easily removed from the disk, emptied, and replaced.
Thanks to its friendly design, Roomba has become the first useful robot in the world for private homes, and to date has sold millions of units. Subsequent generations include a model that effectively cleans cat and dog hair, and virtual gates and beacons that limit Roomba’s activities to a specific room or a specific radius. iRobot developed additional useful household robots after Roomba’s success, including a similar robot that washed floors (Scooba), a drain-cleaning robot, a pool-cleaning robot, and a robot that enables virtual presence at home for a parent still at work.
This year we bought a Roomba for ourselves. We charged it, turned it on, and were completely enchanted with it. It went about its business while humming a happy robot tune (Tatata – taaaa!!) and wound its way around the living room in a seemingly random pattern. It bumped into the chairs, climbed up on the rug, crawled under the sofa, all the while humming, buzzing, and vacuuming dirt and dust. We immediately adopted it as a new member of the family, and gave it a fitting name – Robby the Robot.
Our dog was suspicious of Robby at first, and was somewhat jittery when Robby came close. Robby, however, didn’t notice and kept on working. When he finished, he returned to his charger, and we were amazed to discover how much dust and dirt he vacuumed from the room. When we turned him on again, about an hour later, we were surprised to discover that he collected about the same amount of dust as before. Some of the dust was red for some reason, and it looks like our red rug is thinning out with time...
The rug is still with us, clean and perhaps a bit thinner. We really enjoy turning Robby on, knowing that when he works we can rest. And of course – it’s great to be able to walk around barefoot because everything is clean. The bottom line is that we all love Robby. Even our housekeeper got used to him right away, and turns him on before she washes the floor. What will be left for her to do once we buy Scooba?