By Rob Freese, Sr. Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Globe


It’s all the rage today to talk about how your company listens to its customers.  In business school, they call it “market in” rather than “product out” thinking.  But at Globe, it’s what we do all day, every day.   And we’ve been doing it for a long time.

In 1887, my great grandfather revolutionized outerwear design with a later to be patented, three-layer component system designed to keep you warm and dry.  He made a special version for firefighters – the very first turnout gear.  It was made from a strong canvas outer shell, a waterproof oilcloth mid-layer, and a warm flannel lining.  Though today we use ever newer generations of technical fabrics, this three-layer system remains the foundation of turnout gear construction today.

So we are proud of our long history of innovation.  It’s in our DNA.

VOC smBut how do we know what firefighters want next?  First, we go to the experts – you, the firefighter.  We ask “What do you like about your gear?”, “What don’t you like?”, and “What would you change if you could?”  If you put together the answers to these and other questions from every region of the country, big and small departments, career and volunteer departments, with veterans and newbies, and with men and women running engines and trucks, you would be conducting an exercise called “Voice of the Customer.”  We are a big believer in the value of this kind of organized listening too.

During one recent Voice of the Customer interview in Texas, one veteran firefighter told us “If you start looking at us like an Industrial Athlete, you immediately think that athletes have to be able to move for efficiency . . .” He hit the nail on the head.   Just like athletes, firefighters train to be the best, prepare to win, and are always ready to answer the call.  Globe makes Athletic Gear for Firefighters to enhance your performance.

We don’t design new products just to design new products.   We imagine solutions that meet our customers’ spoken and unspoken needs.  We imagine designs that let you do your job with less stress and more mobility.  We imagine manufacturing techniques that enhance these design features.  We imagine gear that keeps you safer.

Sometimes all this imagination leads to a radical departure from the norm.

Are you going to FDIC in April? I can promise you that you will be blown away by what Globe will be showcasing there this year.  Please stop in to see where your voice and imagination can take you today.

I know my great grandfather would approve.