2020 has been a year where many companies have taken a step back and re-evaluated their business model, the way they work and who they are trying to reach.
There’s a shift in the building products industry that’s been apparent since Grenfell, this years events has only sped up the digital requirements architects and specifiers demand.
Read on to find out how value is quickly overtaking price as a priority.
The Construction Industry Is Changing
Since Dame Judith Hackitt has basically renounced the past or current regulations a shambles, and as she re-writes the rule book, architects have new expectations and requirements when selecting products and not just when it comes to fire regulations.
Companies that go above and beyond the regulations will be the market leaders whilst those that cut corners are likely to slowly disintegrate as the industry shifts.
A lot of business generated is based on relationships and trust, when a company delivers what is asked, has good customer service and is reliable, they will most likely get repeat business.
Architects and specifiers are responsible for choosing thousands of building products, so naturally, they will return to companies that provide value as it makes their job easier.
Evolve Brand Values And Messaging
It’s easy to lose sight of who your service or product is predominantly for as in the end, you need to make a profit. However, by fulfilling projects that aren’t in your specific sector, for example, your messaging becomes mixed.
You practise what you preach. So, if you state that you supply high-end hotels and penthouses with innovative lighting, but all your case studies and pictures on the website are of schools and residential blocks… well the proof is in the pudding.
Whatever your message is, and this can take a while to figure out, it needs to be consistent and at the heart of everything you do. That’s not to say you can’t fulfil those types of projects, but if they’re not the sector you’re targeting then stop showing them off. They’ll only generate leads and enquiries of the same.
Your pictures tell a thousand words and good photography in the building products industry is underrated. You must showcase your skills and expertise in the work you deliver to the specifiers. You can only do this by having a clear proposition and being at the forefront when they’re looking for your solution.
A good read for defining your messaging is ‘Building A Story Brand’ By Donald Miller. In a nutshell it get’s you to strip back all the crap, and waffle and keep what really matters to your audience.
Companies typically fall into the trap of talking about themselves. Specifiers and architects want to find out at why your product is right for them not read 500 words on why your company is the best.
Embrace Digital Transformation
One big lesson we can all take from 2020 is that the possibilities with technology are underestimated. Even traditional methods like email can be enhanced to work smarter for you, with video implementation and tracking tools.
Simple and free CRM systems can let you track when your recipient opens your email or when they’re on your website.
As well as having the technology and software available to assist in sales and lead nurturing, traditional methods like CPD’s can now be delivered remotely and even on-demand.
Specifications led by value, not price
A key factor that has been ongoing through the Grenfell investigation is responsibility. This in itself is the reason people would rather pay more-and most the time it’s marginally more- and be confident that the product will perform and not fail or be the cause of a bigger issue.
As a young person working in the construction industry, I was saddened by Dame Judith Hackitt’s talk at the Construction Product Leader’s Summit earlier this year. It outlined that there are many genuine companies within the sector, but as a whole, the industry gets tarnished as one because of the unethical players.