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Getting innovative products to market by Connecting with Home Builders and Renovators David Foster Director of Environmental Affairs Canadian Home Builders’ Association June 4, 2008 A number of segments Large-scale production builder/developers. Small and mid-sized production builders.

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Getting innovative products to market by l.jpg

Getting innovative products to market by

Connecting with Home Builders and Renovators

David Foster

Director of Environmental Affairs

Canadian Home Builders’ Association

June 4, 2008


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A number of segments

  • Large-scale production builder/developers.

  • Small and mid-sized production builders.

  • Custom & niche builders.

  • Professional renovators.


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A multitude of channels

  • Direct to builder/renovator.

  • Via supplier/retailer.

  • Via electrical contractor.

  • Via design professional.

  • Through participation in a green labeling program.

  • Through participation in HBAs.


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Key issues & requirements

  • Clearly define the benefits and costs.

  • Address installation requirements and trades support.

  • Provide effective, efficient technical and warranty support.

  • Provide the builder/renovator with tools to support customer service staff.

  • In short – see beyond the sale.


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Large-scale builders

  • Many/most operate design centres.

  • Design centre product selection process varies: some direct, some indirect.

  • You need to get your product into the design centre, need to connect with the builder to make this happen.

  • You need to make sure design staff are equipped to sell your product’s benefits effectively.


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Large-scale builders

Challenges and Opportunities

  • Entry-level homes based on entry-level products: cost issues.

  • Many builders assemble packages and require full spectrum of solutions.

  • Price/margin will always be an issue.

  • Expect to cost-share on display and samples.

  • Expect smart builders to ask for staff training/orientation.

  • “Green” an emerging trend, gaining momentum.


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Small/mid-sized builders

  • More likely to work with a local supplier.

  • Often set allowance for lighting and send customer to the supplier.

  • May not specify supplier, but leave the customer free to source anywhere.

  • Alternately, may install “builder grade” fixtures and assume the buyer will switch out later.


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Small/mid-sized builders

Challenges and Opportunities

  • May not have effective selling environment.

  • Suppliers will often be key players.

  • You have to convince both builder and supplier it’s worth it.

  • If they are “green” you have an obvious advantage.


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Custom & niche builders

  • May not participate in lighting decisions, providing allowance or opting for customer supplied.

  • Higher-end custom builders often work with/through a design professional.

  • “Green” niche builders offer a more natural target market.


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Custom & niche builders

Challenges and Opportunities

  • Some may avoid lighting selection altogether.

  • For many, price is less an issue, décor and performance are key.

  • Have to connect them with a supplier.

  • Builder more involved in product selection, has greater influence on customer.

  • Again, if they are “green” there is an advantage.


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Professional renovators

  • Similar situation to customer builders.

  • Scope of projects varies tremendously, but most require lighting solutions.

  • Most renovators are not directly involved in lighting selection, use supplier, designer or owner-supplied fixtures.

  • Emerging “Green” renovator segment may create opportunities.


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Professional renovators

Challenges and Opportunities

  • May not want to be involved in lighting decisions.

  • Cost less of an issue, quality matters.

  • Timely sourcing, seamless supply key issues.

  • They need to be able to sell the concept to the homeowner.

  • “Green” becoming more important.


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Green label programs

  • Get involved – this is the most obvious entry point for energy efficient fixtures .

  • Where pick lists are in place, get your product category listed.

  • Program builders are prime target market.

  • Best programs publish product catalogues and lists, and provide educational opportunities.


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Home Builder’s Associations

  • Opportunities to connect with builders and renovators at all three levels.

  • Local Associations offer variety of services: technical sessions, presentations, etc.

  • Many provincial Associations are involved with green programs.

  • Nationally, the CHBA Manufacturer’s Council represents major product and material companies.


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Summing up

  • Green building and renovation well established and gaining momentum.

  • Innovations also need to be solutions.

  • Your product is one “piece of the puzzle”.

  • ENERGY STAR® a significant asset in getting the industry’s attention – trusted and understood.


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David Foster

613.230.3060

[email protected]


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