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RCI JULY 2014

NBS FEATURE How to market your products In a world of multiple products the power of selection lies firmly in the hands of the specifier, someone you want to impress and persuade. But how can you demonstrate to them your product is superior over your competitors’? Brand loyalty is king. Many specifiers select and re-select products they know and trust over and over again. These are products that they have tried and tested and are confident in their performance, aesthetics and ability to result in a happy client. Your job, as a roofing, cladding or insulation product manufacturer is not only to produce high quality products, but to ensure these products deserve their place in the market, build your brand, build trust and achieve the coveted loyalty status. So, how do you market your products and communicate their benefits to specifiers? As a starting point, you can follow some basic rules: 1. Information is power – Provide the right level of information about your products, in the right format and you will increase your chances of being selected. 2. Location, Location, Location – Having your products in the right place at the right time. 3. Get to know your specifiers – Do your research, what type of specifiers need your products? Use your expertise to help specifiers solve their problems. Willingness to 018 JULY 2014 RCIMAG.COM to specifiers By Clare Watson, director of marketing, RIBA Enterprises share knowledge will facilitate trust and encourage loyalty. 4. Look great – First impressions really do count and looking professional is essential, so ensure your product information is standardised, accurate and userfriendly. 5. Be social – Social media has an extraordinary ability to popularise brands. Specifiers use social media as a means of information sharing, gaining industry knowledge and general opinion forming – but use it wisely. Information is power Specification is at the heart of all building projects and it is created from multi-layered data. The greater the detail you offer on your products in the recognised industry formats, the greater the advantage to the specifier. Increasingly, specifiers are looking for more manufacturers to provide content rich digital data on their products. The introduction of Building Information Modelling (BIM) (see below) has created a platform on which manufacturers can provide information about their product properties not only in a flat, textual context, but in 3D formats with supporting data that is compatible with both design and specification software. In the 2014 NBS National BIM Survey*, 77% of architects stated they wanted manufacturers to provide BIM objects (a BIM object is your product information created in a digital format that can be placed directly into a specification document), with 80% of architects thinking BIM is the future of project information. Adopting a BIM approach is essential to the future and longevity of your product specification success, particularly with the government mandate that all new public building projects from 2016 must be delivered using BIM. Therefore always think about the ‘I’ in BIM and how you can make it easy for the specifier. It’s about the detail, the dimensions and properties of your product and what you have to offer that is better than others on the market. Location, Location, Location! By utilising multiple channels through which specifiers can search for your product information you gain a greater advantage over your competitors. However, it’s not just about letting them find you, there are also ways in which you can place your products directly in front of specifiers at the exact time they are making their selections. There are a number of Construction Product Directories online and in print, such as RIBA Product Selector, in which you can be listed in varying degrees of detail. These are used by specifiers when searching for companies and products for particular projects they are working on. There is a wide range of listing types available, some which are free, so it shouldn’t be hard to find one to suit your budget. There are also services such as NBS which operates the UK’s leading specification system. NBS enables you to place your products directly within its software at the point of specification within relevant clauses. You might also look at BIM libraries which will present your products to specifiers as free to download BIM objects. Some services such as the National BIM Library will also place those objects within the BIM design packages which are used by designers when developing the 3D model of the project. Whenever you are looking at a product, specification or BIM service, a key factor is to ensure you are getting maximum exposure for your listing. Ask where they promote it, where A BIM model of the Lakeside restaurant


RCI JULY 2014
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