Building has always fascinated us. And over the past fifty-plus years, we've had enough clients marketing to the construction industry to know that buildings are a good deal more than boards and bricks -- they're incredibly complex mechanisms with a mind-boggling array of systems and subsystems designed to keep the occupants safe, comfortable and happy. We've discovered that the number of purchase decisions that have to be made to move a building from dream to reality is a number slightly higher than the brain can comfortably imagine. And we've learned the different roles and influences that drive purchases in the construction sector. So we know when and how to talk to architects, contractors and owners.
If you've got a product or service to sell to the industry, our advice is to begin with a solid strategic marketing communications foundation, keep your messages square and straight, and don't stop hammering until you've reached the top.
Whittaker Coatings and Chemicals
had long marketed products used in the coil coating of exterior steel building panels. But their products and expertise were unknown among architects or developers in "architectural coatings" -- metal coatings applied to exterior components such as door and window frames, curtain walls, spandrels and mullions.
When Whittaker chemists developed coatings specifically to combat major environmental factors, ultraviolet degradation, temperature extremes and aggressive atmospheres such as salt air, their first thought was to produce a one-page ad featuring technical specifications. We convinced them of the importance of establishing their position as a major player with breakthrough technology and developed three tabloid-spread ads, one for each of the new products as well as related collateral and direct mail.
Within two years, Whittaker claimed to "own" the architectural coatings market, with the widely held perception that they were the most innovative of the coating suppliers.