For a manufacturer, there is a wide range of factors which impact a product’s performance – performance in-use and performance in terms of sales revenues. Companies are always seeking the best ways to differentiate their product and brand in the customers’ mindset.
In the building materials space this is incredibly important, because specifiers, architects, and builders are staking their own professional reputations upon the products they select for their projects. Their business relies on using products that deliver on their promises, every time.
In order to become the provider of a product that is repeatedly specified and purchased, a manufacturer’s mantra should be performance, reliability, and trust.
First, a product must perform in a way that it meets and even exceeds the customers’ expectations and lives up to the manufacturer’s brand promise. Buildings are only as strong and safe as the materials of which they are comprised, and those materials are entrusted with the protection of those who live and work in those spaces.
Diligent and rigorous performance testing to recognized and referenced standards and test methods, as well as transparency around the test methods and results, are the hallmarks of a product that will be top-of-mind for purchasers and specifiers.
Second, a manufacturer needs to be sure to focus on and highlight the specific distinguishing attributes of their products to the marketplace. Building materials that offer extra value via sustainability attributes and achievements are more attractive to specifiers because they can more easily contribute to their sustainability goals and to green building system credits.
This includes products that are proven to be low-emitting, have published Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) or have other ways in which they contribute to a more sustainable built environment.
Many manufacturers make these types of claims, but not all of them do it credibly. Taking the extra step to demonstrate these attributes via third-party certifications, such as GREENGUARD Certification, not only helps the product qualify for credits in LEED®, but also protects the brand by supporting the manufacturing brand’s reputation with the reputation of the certifying body.
Additionally, a third-party validation or certification for a claim provides a clear differentiator in the marketplace and streamlines the specification process – the purchaser does not need to do the research to determine if a claim is relevant or applicable, because the certifying mark quickly indicates that it is.
When reliability and performance are in place, trust in the marketplace follows. If a product’s reliability and performance are consistent and credible, then the purchaser is able to repeatedly specify and recommend that product with confidence and even pride.
Over time, purchaser confidence translates to trust in a brand – trust that the manufacturer will always deliver on the brand promise with validated performance and credible claims.
Dagmar Ebaugh, LEED® Green Associate
Public Relations and Communications Manager, UL Environment