Com­mon thread in get­ting the mes­sage across

Australasian Timber - - ASSOCIATIONS - By Eric Siegers Prin­ci­paL, The Tim­ber Hub

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.

Stay tuned!

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