Show­room prov­ing a big win­ner for as­so­ci­a­tion and in­dus­try

Australasian Timber - - NEWS - By Eric Siegers Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Tim­ber Mer­chants As­so­ci­a­tion

AS MANY of you know I’m a great be­liever in the fact that the TMA show­room is a great ben­e­fit to the Tim­ber in­dus­try. Con­se­quently, I’m of­ten asked to val­i­date this per­spec­tive in light of the diver­sity of chan­nels now avail­able to mar­keters and sales organisations. Its sim­ple. When it comes to the home, peo­ple like to en­gage with the prod­ucts they are go­ing to pur­chase. Re­search un­der­taken reaf­firms this time and again. For in­stance AT Kear­ney con­firms that when it comes to the home over 90% of peo­ple want to get up close and per­sonal with prod­ucts such as tim­ber floor­ing, deck­ing and even in­su­la­tion at the ini­tial stages of dis­cov­ery and ful­fil­ment. As the home is the big­gest in­vest­ment most peo­ple make I sup­pose this is not en­tirely earth shat­ter­ing.

But how does this con­firm that the TMA show­room is rel­e­vant.

The good news is that since 2004 TMA has recorded vis­i­tors to the cen­tre and we have found that re­gard­less of the changes in com­mu­ni­ca­tions chan­nels, nearly 20% of peo­ple un­der­tak­ing a ren­o­va­tion visit the cen­tre. That’s a bril­liant ex­am­ple of how rel­e­vant the cen­tre is – re­gard­less of the ad­vance­ments made since 2004!

Ar­ti­cles by man­u­fac­tur­ers of prod­ucts to the home such as Moen, con­firm the im­por­tance of a hav­ing some sort of part­nered dis­play. They said in an ar­ti­cle ear­lier this year that “If you’re a con­struc­tion pro lack­ing a great show­room part­ner, you’re miss­ing out”.

What they mean is hav­ing prod­ucts that work to­gether such as kitchen hard­ware and benches in a show­room means that you are able to cap­ture more peo­ple to your prod­uct. To this end the TMA is a big win­ner with “up and com­ing” hard­ware man­u­fac­turer Trio join­ing us along with the al­ready strong show­ing of tim­bers for the kitchen en­vi­ron­ment. This only en­hances the ex­pe­ri­ences and strength­ens the mes­sage to the com­mu­nity that tim­ber is the prod­uct to ren­o­vate with.

Given that the TMA is able to get a strong fol­low­ing with the com­mu­nity it begs us to ask two ques­tions: How can we con­tinue to make it stronger? How can we ex­pand this pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence to other states (in par­tic­u­lar NSW)

The value to the in­dus­try is the pos­i­tive con­nec­tion it builds with the com­mu­nity by pro­vid­ing a much needed “call to ac­tion” for our planet’s most sus­tain­able re­source, but also a great busi­ness op­por­tu­nity to strengthen the role of the in­de­pen­dent mer­chants that oth­er­wise find it dif­fi­cult to make the in­vest­ment in large show­room space to build cus­tomer re­la­tion­ships.

A lot can be done. I think it’s time to un­der­stand the im­por­tance of prod­uct en­gage­ment with the consumer and the ul­ti­mate re­la­tion­ship with the sup­ply chain so that we do serve com­mu­nity, consumer and busi­ness bet­ter.

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