You Can’t Always Control Tightening Margins. But You Can Control Your Message.

The Great Recession may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean life is easy for building product manufacturers. While the construction market has recovered, a variety of meta-factors are driving down profitability:

1. Labor shortage. There’s a trade labor shortage negatively impacting many industries, and the building and construction industry is no exception. In fact, 89 percent of construction firms surveyed recently stated they face talent shortages

When contractors can’t find enough workers, building product orders back up. The demand is there, but teams to handle installations aren’t. In the end, everyone suffers. In the meantime, building product manufacturers are hit directly by the trade labor shortage as they search for laborers to work in their plants, design their products and reach new customers.

2. Unstable material costs. Whether it’s market volatility, changing trade dynamics between countries or simple supply-and-demand issues, material price fluctuations can hurt revenues. Making finished goods becomes more expensive, but contractors still want an inexpensive product from manufacturers.

3. Changing standards. Regulations and industry standards can also increase pressure on building product manufacturers to adjust their product composition and application methods. Re-engineering products and moving away from tried-and-true formulations are not only tedious; they are also frequently costly.

If you represent a building products company, these profitability-inhibiting factors are hard to control. But that doesn’t mean you have to accept a hit to your bottom line. Proper communications and marketing efforts can help not only boost awareness of your value proposition but position your products as a solution to a problem.

Consider, for instance:
- Do your products help contractors do more with less, counteracting the labor shortage? 

- Do your products last longer, diminishing the amount of maintenance required by a customer?

- Do you have arrangements in place to manage material price volatility better than others?

- Does your company help customers meet the changing standards they’re facing?

- Most importantly, are you communicating all of this value to your customers and influencers?

Whatever the case, a well-planned communications strategy featuring smart marketing tactics can counteract some of the headwinds you face. Remember: Your brand has a story to tell, and telling that story well could be the difference between persevering through the tough times or not.

At akhia communications, we can’t fix material price hikes. But we can help companies strategize around how they’re going to change messaging models to market their organization and product lines effectively, no matter what challenges they face. Contact me to get started today.