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Clay's product marketing is very cool!

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    I know we are only dealing with a sharpening system here, but I must give kudos out to Clay for all the cool pastel colors he has designed into his systems and the accessories.  He turned a boring sharpening system into a colorful must have device for many of us hobbyists in 11 short years.  The Wicked Edge story is an interesting read too for anyone who has not clicked “Our Story” on the top right of the WE page.

    Whenever I click on the sharpeners page as I was continually comparing the systems before I decided on the one I wanted. . . Whenever I look back, I just really like how colorful all his units and the stones are.

    Other companies should take a page out of Clay’s marketing book.  I’ve been in sales for over 35 years and I simply appreciate a company with great marketing.

    Two thumbs up Clay!

    How cool are all these system colors?

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    I whole-heartedly agree.  From my very first purchase from WE to today, I have been amazed that Clay has found a market that will support the number of sales of a system which is priced as highly as it is when compared to competitive systems/devices.  And yes, there is a price-point issue that drives away the less affluent and less driven buyers.  If you hope to earn an income from your investment, the WE system doesn’t have the productivity (speed) which would clearly offset the initial outlay of cash.  It produces an extraordinary final result, but with a commensurate amount of effort expended.  Of those who sharpen knives for a living, I recall at least one who has commented on this forum that he reserves the WEPS for those “Cadillac” jobs.  A few, like Josh of Razor Edge Knives, cater to customers who want top shelf results and are willing to pay for it.

    Another astute (and less obvious) sales concept that Clay makes use of is right here in this forum.  On several occasions, I have cautioned Clay about his tolerance for forum discussions which seem to be against his best interests, but he stands firm, believing that this openness provides a source of feedback and ideas to support the principles of continuous improvement.  My words, not his.  It surely doesn’t hurt his customer service rep and inspires a good deal of loyalty in his customers.

    And yes, I drink the WE Kool-Aid.

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    Thanks for your comment to my post.  And I really didn’t do it just to pull Clay’s chain . . . I just really appreciate how he built up a “niche” company like the WE system by continuely making design improvements, making youtube videos and does various shows like the “shot show”.  Setting up his booth and  demonstrating directly to his niche market of hunters, rifle and gun owner enthusiasts  . . . who I’m sure by default are also knife owners.  And we tend not to buy just “one” knife.  I started to collect folders and its a really addictive hobby.

    Just like trying to achieve beautiful and sharp edges when collecting knives, we seek to be constantly selling and trading up improving the quality of our collections.  Just yesterday, I entered the world of my first “custom made” knife.   Whats a beautiful production type knife with just a factory 15 second ground on edge?

    I watched a well done video on the lower priced Tormek T4 sharpening system.  Doesn’t hold a candle to the WE IMO.  Sure, it’s great if sharpening is your buisness, but how much can one make when some only charge like $6 a knife to be professionally sharpened on a grinder?  I can sharpen a knife free-hand for free.   I grew up with my Father’s bench grinder in my house (I still own it).  And I’m surprised I can still “see” and have all my “fingers”.  I was told not to ever play around with it.  But of course, I always did.  But he also taught me how to use it too.  Having a a grinder IMO in a house with kids one needs to keep your workshop door locked.  And if you don’t have a workshop, do you put a grinder on your dining room or kitchen table to sharpen knifes?   Any WE system as it sits is just a set of stones that can’t injure anyone!  The tormek from what I saw also puts a hollow ground edge on a blade, due to the curvature of the wheel.  Sure the base unit is something like $450 (as is the average WE system).  But then you have to add accessories like a stropping wheel etc. just like one adds onto a WE system. The costs rise on either system.  As to a WE system mainly for the affluent . . . even though used systems are in high demand, systems can be found to get started cheaper and many times the optional accessories are thrown in.

    Clay’s marketing now even reaches out with the GO type buyers at an amazing $200 price point.  Since its using the same 200/600 grit stones they are the exact same ones included in more expensive units and one can put on a decent sharp edge with just these two grits.  Just one of my production type folding knives is more than $200!  As to the time it takes to do a mirror edge on the system like Josh does for his customers  . . . its an art form and I’m sure he has different price points depending on the sharpening level and finish one desires.

    All in all, its an amazing system and marketed extremely well by Clay and his team.  To me its like a Hyundai (the Tormek or other systems like KME etc.) they can get you to where you want to go . . . but a BMW gets you there in “style”.  The WE system to me, is the BMW of sharpening systems when one is seeking out a “first class” edge for their knives.

    And kudos to moving the production back to the U.S.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 3 months ago by Expidia.
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