December 10, 2019

Synergies Between Residential and Light Commercial for the Building Product Manufacturer

Strategic Planning

There is a connection between residential and light commercial construction markets as it relates to marketing strategy, planning, and execution.

When you look at architectural firms, they specialize in commercial, residential, or other niche markets. There are also “generalist” firms that provide services for a wide range of market segments. These firms actually represent the largest percentage of all architectural firms and are as interested in aligning with residential building product manufacturers (BPMs) as they are with those producing commercial products.

Many BPMs draw a clear line between residential and commercial, but this may not be the most lucrative approach as they will likely miss out on project opportunities if their product can be used in both segments.

The process of reviewing, selecting, and engaging BPMs is similar for home builders and architectural firms. Needs arise, research ensues, and decisions to use the products are made. Supply chains and delivery may differ, but this can be managed by the BPM through their sales and channel strategies and planning.

Generalist architectural firms are doing work in both segments. If they’re making connections and using products in both, it can lead to more opportunities for the BPM.

There are plenty of light commercial projects that serve as residential spaces, like apartments or other mixed-use buildings, and builders use many of the same products they use for single-family homes. Plus, light commercial projects often utilize an architect in the same capacity as true commercial projects. Consequently, building product manufacturers who solely target home builders and not architects may be missing out on key opportunities in the light commercial space.

In addition, many home builders have specific divisions focused on multi-family and mixed-use development. On many of these projects, they are aligned with generalist architectural firms for design work. A BPM might be fully aligned with a home builder for single-family jobs but missing out on opportunities with that same builder on multi-family and mixed-use projects, as they draw a line of delineation between the two segments.

Developing a strong connection and synergy between BPMs and builders generates opportunities for the BPM products to be used on more residential projects.

Read about our work with ClosetMaid, a great example of how a strong connection to residential and light commercial builders and architects can lead to transformational growth.

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