4 Reasons Why Building Product Brands Fail

Posted On: 
Feb 4, 2019
4 Reasons Why Building Product Brands Fail

Successful building products are the result of not only meeting customer’s expectations but cementing a positive brand experience in the user’s brain. A negative experience can taint a product brand and reduce specification opportunities. Very successful brands form a positive emotional experience with the end user. Why do some brands fail?

There are many reasons why an architect, specifier, contractor, or other design professional selects one product over another. In a previous blog, How Your Outdated AIA Course is Affecting Your Brand, we discussed how the perception of your brand can influence product specifications. If your AIA course is in PDF format, you’re in big trouble, as most architects don’t want to read a sixty-page white paper about Polyisocyanurate spray foam. They’d rather eat glass or better yet participate in an engaging video course with narration.

Word of mouth can be critical for brand awareness. If specifiers love a product, they tell their colleagues and friends about it. If a product fails or if the product manufacturer is a jerk, this can negatively influence future specification opportunities. In this day and age, branding can also be affected negatively very quickly. For example, in 2017 Lumber Liquidators settled a $36 million claim brought on behalf of purchasers of Chinese-manufactured laminate flooring that contained formaldehyde. Their brand was affected significantly, and trust eroded with the public after this debacle.

Today, we’ll examine four common reasons why building product manufacturer brands fail. Aside from making a crappy product, we will review other reasons why brands suffer. Each proof argument for product brand fails is backed up by examples. Product manufacturers would be wise to learn from these mistakes.

Bad Website

How many times have you visited a website that looks like it was created in 1987? A building product manufacturer’s website should be easy to navigate, should have all the proper contact info, and effectively provide the information that the architect is looking for. Manufacturers should have mobile sites for smart phones, tablets, and other devices. If your website looks like this, you’re in trouble!

No Social Media Presence

Architects, specifiers, interior designers, engineers, contractors, and other design professionals respond to various social media influences. We’re not talking about Facebook posts with construction fail videos, but rather professional media influences like LinkedIn, Twitter, building product forums, and other platforms.

LinkedIn is the largest and most influential social media platform for building products. There are hundreds of other product forums, chat rooms, and online platforms that contain customer reviews, testimonials, and blog posts. Rate It Green is a good example of a forum where buyers can find building products and sellers can promote their sustainable products. The best platforms promote honest information, networking, and help establish strong relationships for brands.

If you don’t try to manage your online brand, then someone else will. Manufacturers with no social media presence may suffer from bad reviews, questions about quality control, and other issues that could be addressed if a person within the company focused on social media. Manufacturers who don’t have a social media presence decrease their specification opportunities significantly.


Contractors, homeowners, and other design professionals want to be able to purchase building products easily and effectively. Most manufacturers can benefit from having an e-commerce platform, especially if they cater to the residential market. TOTO USA has excelled in this area with the creation of their own e-commerce portal.

Your products might be sold in Home Depot and Lowes, however, many customers like to select certain products online and have them quickly shipped to the job site. E-commerce is a growing field and manufacturers would be wise to invest in this if their product caters to residential markets. Customers may select another brand based on ease of e-commerce alone.

Customer Service

Bad customer service can sink a brand in many buyer’s minds. Great customer service can cement a relationship that lasts decades. Buyers can become fanatics for a product based on customer service and reputation alone. Apple, Moog, Sequential Circuits, and Disney are all various brands that have rabid fans.

Architects and contractors that receive poor customer support from a building product manufacturer are less likely to use that brand in the future. Every employee in a company should be trained to provide the upmost customer service since the brand depends on it. How does your company promote your brand? How does your company avoid brand failure?

For more information or to discuss the topic of this blog, please call Brad Blank at 360-727-3528.