Real American Hardwood Promotion Coalition Updates

RAHPC March 9, 2020 Update

The Real American Hardwood Promotion Coalition (RAHPC) is making crucial progress on efforts to establish a united marketing strategy for the American hardwood industry. The Coalition met at the Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen’s Association meeting in February and discussed recent accomplishments and upcoming action. Read more


Focus Groups

To assess consumer attitudes, two focus groups were held in late January and early February. A focus group is a strategically selected group of diverse people assembled to participate in a guided discussion about a topic prior to the initial launching campaign of that specific topic. In our case, hardwood promotion, we talked to two types of people at each location. The first consisted of consumers that had performed major renovations in their homes within the last year. The second was a group of architects, contractors, and designers. Online polling of additional prosumers and consumers are being planned, as well as phone interviews with industry leaders to round out the research process.

A series of questions by a highly qualified facilitator-led to dialogue about home renovations, materials, sourcing, forest products, sustainability and much more. Some key findings of the focus groups include:

Consumers:

  • Perform most of the research themselves on their renovation projects. They rely on a variety of different resources; for instance, popular online shopping sites, television shows, local home improvement stores and word of mouth;
  • Want a “quick and now” answer for their renovations, often based on current trends;
  • Decisions are most often budget-driven;
  • Associate real wood products with high fashion and a perceived status;
  • For the most part, do not understand the terms sustainability and environmentally friendly;
  • Misinterpret characteristics associated with the forest products industry.

Architects, Builders and Designers:

  • Generally not the influencer, customers know what they want;Typically forced to stay within a strict budget;
  • Believe home improvement television shows do not present realistic costs and time estimates;
  • Agree most popular home renovations are kitchens, bathrooms, and flooring;
  • Have numerous sources for their raw materials and no allegiance to products Made in America.

Much of this information is already well known by hardwood insiders, but there were data points that were unexpected. These will help us as we move into our second phase, brand development.


Future

This Spring, marketing professionals from various segments of the industry will gather to work to develop a brand statement that can be adapted and incorporated by associations and businesses alike, creating a common message that runs throughout multiple promotion platforms and campaigns.

Our marketing consultants will also develop a go-to-market playbook which will consist of many ways companies and associations can engage…with the average financial obligation attached to each option. At that point, RAHPC can begin to consider where we start and how funding needs will be addressed.

RAHPC members are attending industry/association meetings throughout the year. Please look for these opportunities to connect with those association executives that are actively engaged. And if you are interested in someone from the Coalition participating in one of your meetings, please reach out!!