But don’t forget the customer experience.
By: Lou Rossi
Manufacturers and distributors often wonder who really decides what brand of product is selected for a remodeling or repair project. Is it the contractor or the homeowner, or does it even start back at the dealer and what product is made available to the contractor?
Recent contractor and homeowner research in siding and exterior trim from Principia highlights the role and influence of the contractor in final prod- uct selection. It may come as no surprise that homeowners have little familiarity about different siding and trim options.
Contractors influence siding and trim brand selection Contractors feel that they can successfully influence the type of product used in a remodeling and repair project. Digging further into the many factors that influence the decision-making processes about trim, an interesting story develops. Nearly half of contractors surveyed felt that they could successfully influence the homeowner’s decision on specific siding and trim brand. Contractors indicated that homeowners are least likely to have something already in mind when first meeting with the contractor, including material, profile or style of the trim package.
Again, about half of the homeowners knew what siding and trim color they wanted before meeting with the contractor. Contractors were most influential with homeowners about the trim package, which can include economy or more premium trim, followed by material, then color, style, brand, and width.
Sample boards remain an effective sales tool for contractors even with the recent movement to all things digital. Over half of the homeowners interviewed who obtained a contractor bid reported the contractor’s use of sample boards as part of the selling process. These boards were “very influential” in the final brand selection, although contractors are increasingly using tablets and laptops to showcase the product including use of online visualization software.