Most residential building material manufacturers view sales of their products in terms of the structure, the geographic location or the price of the house. In other words, they think about the house itself. They seldom think about the occupants.
The traditional husband-wife family household continues to decline. Manufacturers of building materials should begin to pay attention to the occupants in developing their product line.
Most manufacturers have competitors who offer basically the same product. They also think of their market as any house that can use their product. This is also the way their competitors think.
They then wonder why they are constantly competing on price.
The reason price is so important is that most manufacturers haven’t given their customer any other point of difference.
Here are some examples of how the occupants are different.
48% are traditional husband-wife family.
Even the needs of this group are changing and most manufacturers aren’t keeping up.
5.6% are multi-generational.
Do separate living quarters and more privacy mean an opportunity for you? It might even mean a second kitchen and an additional bathroom.
13.1% are unmarried female head of households and 17.2 million females live alone.
What do females want? Perhaps they want a smaller kitchen, but a larger more luxurious bathroom, added security, an upscale closet and maintenance free.
25% of house holds headed by someone 65 or older.
Aging in place is a growing opportunity that most manufacturers see as too small.
13.9 million males live alone
They may want deluxe garages, man caves, home theatres and bigger kitchens.
Single-family rental housing is the fastest growing segment.
The customer here is the owner or facility manager. He needs a property that is desirable enough to rent and products that can stand up to tenants.
Growing number of minority households
Each minority has it’s own view of what a house means. For some of them it’s the statement the exterior makes. For others it’s about how they live in their house.
These numbers come from a variety of sources and are not meant to be exact. They are only meant to get you to start thinking more about the occupant and less about the structure.
Ask yourself if you have a product or could develop one that better meets the needs of a specific type of occupant. If you are known as having products designed for one or more of these audiences you have now set yourself apart. When you set yourself apart, price is a lot less important. You become the preferred brand.
When you stop focusing just on volume and economies of scale you can start to see new more profitable possibilities.
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