Construction marketing expert and CEO of Purplex, Andrew Scott, discusses consolidation and the power of brand
If ever there was a ‘pivotal year’ for business in recent times, then perhaps it was 2019. Three years of economic uncertainty with Brexit, a new Prime Minister and a General Election have taken its toll on the economy, consumer confidence and the housing market.
Inevitably, it points to significant changes for the building products and home improvement industry in 2020 and beyond, with some suppliers exiting the market or being absorbed by stronger companies, while sadly some well-known brands are likely to collapse.
However, it isn’t all bad news. With consolidation comes opportunity for forward-thinking, ambitious companies and I suspect we will see a new wave of acquisitions and several new industry leaders emerge. We can’t ignore the fact that the industry is a multi-billion market.
And the future looks bright too – government and consumer-led moves towards a more sustainable future and net zero carbon will enable our industry to evolve, develop new products and regain margin.
We are perhaps entering the most exciting period for the industry and the opportunities to build highly successful, profitable and valuable companies have never been greater.
To realise what is possible, we may need to look at other markets.
The power of Tesla
January car manufacturer Tesla hit $100 billion market value, more than U.S. rivals Ford and General Motors combined – despite being the ‘new kid on the block’ and producing a tiny fraction of cars compared to the giants.
Is it simply because Tesla make electric cars? If this was the case, it would be game-over for Tesla as other manufacturers launch premium EV’s – with the Ford Mustang E-Mach, Porsche Taycan and Jaguar I-Pace all available this year.
No, Tesla’s recent $100 billion value is much more than the power-train of their vehicles. And the building products and home improvement industries could learn a great deal from Tesla.
Tesla stands for something, and so do the people who drive them. It isn’t just about electric cars; it is about breaking with convention. Tesla are
‘on a mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy’.
In a few short years, Tesla are on track to build one of the world’s strongest brands. A brand that really means something to its customers, its employees and its shareholders.
Tesla aren’t selling cars, they are selling a sustainable future.
Yet, we see all across the building industry companies competing on product and competing on price.
Marketing vs Branding
It generally boils down to marketing. As an industry, many companies equate marketing to lead generation. However, the world’s leading marketers know that the most successful, profitable and valuable companies are built on their brand.
Companies who invest in their brand will ultimately outperform those that just focus on lead generation alone. It’s no surprise that Tesla had 250,000 pre-orders for its dubious Cybertruck within a week of launch in November 2019 – despite the product not being available until 2021.
Building a strong brand goes deeper than just a logo or a new mission statement. It needs to resonate with all stakeholders, from customers and employees to suppliers, and it needs to be authentic. A brand is the outward expression of a company’s purpose, ethos, values and proposition.
As the building industry consolidates and evolves; we will see winners and losers. Those companies who are true innovators, invest in their business and build meaningful brands, will emerge triumphant.
Purplex is the specialist PR, digital and marketing agency for the construction, building products and home improvement industry. We work with forward-thinking, ambitious companies who want sustainable growth. Contact our team on 01934 808132 or via our contact us page.