One of the greatest challenges for a construction product is being able to remain relevant when only a small portion of its funding and time is spent with the end buyer. The masonry industry is one of the oldest construction products around. Masonry products have proven their durability, flexibility and longevity decade after decade, but yet we, like other construction products, struggle to remain the product of choice and to remain relevant. We spend thousands of dollars every year on research for our products proving that they are environmentally friendly or energy efficient or fire safe. Each year, we work with code officials, advisory groups, legislators, in order defend our position in the construction market.
And every year, we run up against codes and agencies who want to prove how it’s just not enough. Recently, I was sitting with a group of academics and consultants who are looking to mandate building product manufacturers provide data on lifecycle assessments to the State. As we sat in the comfortable room, along Lake Union, with the perfect temperature and lighting, enjoying the view and conversation, I posed the question – “When did the building products industry become the bad guy?” In this particular room, we weren’t being very well received.
The industry spends an absorbent amount of money to maintain its market in a tough construction economy, then an additional amount of money is spent to educate code officials, building officials, elected officials, etc. on why were not a bad choice; and once were done defending our position to those who have no say in whether our product is selected, we must spend time and money educating the designers and general contractors about the actual product. We don’t mind doing this, as we know why masonry products are the best choice; and why we provide the greatest flexibility for making a lasting statement.
So, the next time, you have the opportunity to have a free lunch through our Lunch and Learn Series, either in your office or ours, or call our technical experts and ask for free advice. Or if you choose to join us at our September 7th MIW Golf Tournament where design and construction industry representatives play for free, please take a second to listen to the quick marketing message that is being delivered. We don’t need to do the hard sale – our product really does stand on its reputation, but we did have to spend a lot of time convincing people of that before, we could market it to you.