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. • Custom & niche builders. • Professional renovators.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
David Foster 613.230.3060 firstname.lastname@example.org