Wood products trends
What could these emerging trends
mean for the wood products industry?
Return to mass production. As consumers grow more value conscious, a
move toward lower-priced, functional
products could accelerate. Think Ikea.
Their low prices are afforded by huge
volumes made on high-speed production lines.
More affordable customization.
Simplifying semi-custom product
lines could impart more value at lower
Use of new materials. Lightweight
panels, for instance, could provide
mass with less material thus reducing
a product’s cost and environmental
More local production. Changing
global economics combined with the
creative use of technology could mean
a rebirth of domestic manufacturing.
marketing practice requires that you
segment them by their purchasing
criteria, or why they buy from you.
Innovate new ways to deliver value.
It’s not about inventing the next iPod
but rather about being the best at what
you promise to deliver.
Simplify your product line. Make it
easy for your customers to select from
and price your offering. Choice and
customization should not be over-
whelming. Some experts are predicting the return of simple choices with
Adjust your sales force and distribution. If the recession killed off your independent reps, commission salesmen,
or distributors, recruit replacements
immediately. Employ new distribution
channels that best fit your new prod-ucts/markets.
What should you do to prepare for
the new normal?
Know your existing customers. Every
business, new or old, starts with a
customer. Now more than ever you
need to understand how your customers define value and are responding
to that definition. Find out if their
purchasing decision process has
changed and whether the attributes
you sold on before the recession are
More local production
Acquire new customers. The latest
economic crisis, like others before it,
disrupted the status quo. Companies
have retrenched, cut their work forces,
idled plants, stopped buying new
equipment, and changed their processes to fit the times. Other firms have
disappeared. In doing so, they may be
leaving customer needs unmet. Put on
your marketing hat and discover how
to deliver those needs profitably.
Modify your market segmentation
accordingly. Your customers are not
a single homogeneous group. Sound