Common thread in getting the message across
OVER THE past three months we have been holding regular architectural breakfasts to stimulate the discussion on timber and timber products with the specifier sector.
While we provided a lot of information to over 120 architects in that timeframe, it was the feedback that was of most interest.
As we all know while architects are not the people who buy from us, they are the people who set trends and direct specifications. So, when they give us feedback I tend to listen.
Consistently the architects have been questioning why Timber is pushing itself to such an elitist position. Consistently timber has been viewed by the architects as something that is elitist and out of reach of many home owners. “Only the wealthy can afford the houses that are advertised with the guy from Grand Designs”.
The architects regularly commented that timber is such a great product and so strongly environmental making it reach the common man is perhaps a better goal for the industry. They referenced fairly regularly that the steel industry gets it right with the approach to the common man. “A man in his undies appreciating his house is truly Australian and achievable. “they added “making timber elitist makes our job harder for a material that is truly beloved by the consumer”.
This is an interesting take on the way the industry presents itself.
I find it interesting that the sector we seek to influence so they influence their clients to choosing timber, want timber to be presented to the common man.
This reflects the projects we work on through the Timber Hub. We find ourselves working on the aesthetic elements such as cladding, flooring and decking an awful lot, which is where the common man engages with timber significantly. This is who buys the timber.
So the old advertising adage of “make the product be something your consumer can connect with” is not misplaced.
At a time when timber is gaining popularity, we can perhaps strengthen that relationship with the market by connecting the product with the people who actually purchase and use the product and help the architects in strengthening their story and proposition.
We have concluded our breakfast series for this year, but the agenda for next year is in the works and the feedback from the architects has directed our topics and they cover everything from building to meet fire codes in AS 1684 to fixing systems for Timber claddings to meet the new guidelines from the NCC.
Due to interest we get from the other States we will also be taking the presentations to some of the other capital cities.