Practicing architect and co-founder of Architizer Marc Kushner touched upon something huge when he wrote about the collective decision-making power of architects, particularly when it comes to specifying building-products for construction projects. The profession selects virtually every architectural component imaginable outside of the core structural frame, and this accounts for about 17 percent of a building’s total construction budget. In the U.S. alone, that’s nearly $97 billion each year.
That bears repeating: $97,000,000,000 worth of building-products are purchased across the country each year. That’s a lot of zeroes!
It’s an extraordinarily lucrative market to be a part of, which is why manufacturers recruit the most talented designers and engineers to craft their products. If your brand becomes the “go-to” name for architects in search of an ubiquitous building component, they’ve hit the proverbial jackpot. The question is: Once you are armed with the perfect product — one you know will solve design problems for architects around the globe — how do you make them aware of it, and more importantly, get them to select it for their next project?
It’s no easy task, but Architizer is here to help: Source, our fast-growing community marketplace for building-products, provides a powerful platform for manufacturers to connect with those invaluable decision-makers, surfacing high-quality leads with minimal fuss.
Once you are signed up, there are four simple steps you can take to better understand what architects and designers are looking for, each of which could help open doors to new relationships and get your products into exciting new projects in the coming months.
1. Compare yourself with your competitors
Given the time-pressed nature of specifying, many architects tend to be loyal to brands when they have a good experience with and are impressed with the quality and efficient delivery of a product. Thanks to the innovative marketplace dynamics of Source, you can now view the activity of your competitors at a glance and see which types of building-products are garnering the attention of the biggest architecture firms.
Once you’re up and running on the platform, you can easily keep track of your repeat clients and those of your competitors and assess who the specification leaders are within your field, and you should begin to uncover certain characteristics of those businesses that can inspire your own strategy.
2. Prioritize your target markets
Analyze your audience, and break it down into segments based on the influence and buying power each group has in specifying your products. There might be 10 to 12 broad markets within architecture — commercial, residential, hospitality, health care and so on — and the demand for products within each is profoundly affected by broader economics and political issues within the construction industry.
By studying opportunities across different sectors on Source, you can tailor your responses to provide architects with the information and insights they need. By providing timely expertise for actively specifying architecture firms, you’ll build trusted relationships that turn into commissions in no time.
3. Learn what makes architects tick
No two architecture firms are alike in terms of how they work with their clients from concept through to completion — or how specifying fits in with their design process. There is a plethora of articles on these subjects to aid manufacturers in their research: SHoP Architects have spoken about their experience using Source to identify high-end products for their Uber Headquarters project.
Meanwhile, the client for BIG’s 40th Precinct — the NYPD — meant that material choices were even more bespoke in nature. It is hugely beneficial to talk to architects and build up an understanding of their priorities when specifying products for projects across a broad range of typologies.
4. Highlight your unique selling point
Once you have nailed the previous three steps, it is time to articulate your brand, educate architects on what you have to offer that is different to your competitors. On Source, this can go beyond listing your products and services, because you can respond to specific challenges architects are facing and provide them with the exact solution they need.
Once you have connected with an architect, you can use Source’s in-built messaging system to offer architects in-depth knowledge into the available options, saving them valuable time and ultimately netting you a valuable new relationship. Before long, your slice of that $97 billion pie will be that much larger.