Contractors use multiple building products on a daily basis and come to trust certain brands. Often, they stick with the brand on which they originally learned to work. Once a contractor has become comfortable with a specific product or brand, he is understandably hesitant to switch. Research has shown that 44 percent of contractors tend to reuse products they like and only 6 percent of contractors like to try different brands of products. A manufacturer may have a better product, but it can be difficult to convince contractors that this is the case, and if they have found a brand to be dependable in the past, they continue to use it, making acquiring new customers tough for manufacturers.
As a marketer, breaking through the brand loyalty wall can be challenging, but we’ve outlined a couple of manufacturing sales tools to help show you how to acquire new customers and get your message pulled through the Pinhole:
1) Trial Offers and Guarantees
A recent study found that 55 percent of contractors would be willing to change brands if they had the opportunity to try a new product before purchasing. In order to try a new product, they want to make sure their risk is low. Just getting your product in the hands of the contractors is the first step to breaking through their loyalty with another brand.
Along the same lines, if contractors know a manufacturer will back up products with guarantees, they are more willing to try a new product, as it is again low risk for them. Manufacturing sales strategies need to find a way to mitigate the risk for their potential customers.
2) Distributor support
While the distribution model is changing (see our recent white paper “Breaking Through the New Distribution Model”), a recent study of contractors found the biggest factor contractors consider when purchasing building products, after cost, is service. Thus, marketers have an opportunity to demonstrate a deep understanding of their customers through their distribution network and provide support tools to distributors such as Point of Sale displays, lunch n learns, and online training. Get the distributor smart on your product line, and make them more comfortable recommending your brand, and the chances are better that contractors may give it a shot. Which means the acquisition of new customers is not as daunting of a task.
To read more on the world of Contractors and how to market to them, check out our whitepaper, “Best Practices for Selling Building Products Through Contactors.”
Flickr photo courtesy of Changhai Travis
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