Go beyond the straight sales pitch

How do you become a customer’s go-to? In a highly competitive environment, it requires more than delivering a top product—you need to become a source of wisdom, advice and assistance. In the case of our client, composite decking manufacturer MoistureShield, it meant understanding the dozens of decisions customers face in planning a deck project and investing to create an online tool that helps them manage and streamline the entire process. The superior customer experience ultimately means a stronger brand reputation—so that when people think outdoors, they know who to go to.

Consumers have embraced outdoor living.

Let’s say you’re a brand trying to capitalize on the trend. You already have a superior product. You may think all that’s left is to market it and get the word out to consumers.

But the most trusted brands know they have to go deeper. Homeowners, many of whom are coming to big box stores fresh from reviewing Pinterest boards and Tik Tok DIY videos, need to trust you. These are big purchases with long-term consequences, so they’re seeking brands they can look up to not only for great products, but for project guidance too.

This was the impetus of our most recent project with our client MoistureShield, one of the leading composite decking manufacturers in the country. We developed a way they could connect with homeowners and contractors beyond the sales pitch: The Outdoor Project Hub.

This tool goes further for homeowners, assisting them with managing their entire project—inspiration, weighing priorities, comparing materials, considering accessories and understanding budgeting and timeline considerations—not just the deck boards.

Does it involve potentially highlighting the products of other brands—including competitors? Sure. Is it still creating an advantage for the brand? A resounding yes.

Why should a company invest money to create content that isn’t a single-minded sales pitch for only their products? Because positioning yourself as an authority means creating authentically helpful guidance for your customers and earning their trust.

Creating a resource for the homeowner positions you as an expert in the field—a role you want to play in your product category. Finding your tools and tips in their searches means they’re making associations with you that go far beyond the purchase and develop into brand affinity. And you want to be thought of beyond product.

Investment in your customer also differentiates you. Lots of brands offer deck designers; but no one brought together design, budget, inspiration and checklist all in one place. We recognized that the planning process was a pain point and developed a way for MoistureShield to ease that pain point. When you go the extra mile on their behalf, it creates a feeling among customers that they can depend

How can you apply this thinking to your own business?

Understand the decision landscape—what kind of project is your product part of? Does it play a leading or supporting role? You don’t need to include every single element, but helping consumers visualize and organize many small decisions in the context of the final result can be invaluable.

Then find ways to help your customers make good decisions. That guidance, whether in the form of blog content, planning tools and apps, checklists or tutorials, begin to build your reputation as more than a trusted brand, but the go-to authority on the subject and in your category.

Interested in seeing the Outdoor Project Hub? Explore it. Want to discuss ways to better position your brand? Reach out to us.

More Good Reads

7 tips for successfully navigating a merger or acquisition

So you’re managing a new acquisition. How do you prepare to create one happy family? In our experience guiding c-suite leaders as they navigate the process, we've noticed there is no one-size-fits-all solution. But there are seven critical questions that make the difference between a graceful implementation or a floundering one. Learn how to answer them with confidence and ensure your newly expanded organization can thrive.

AI is here to stay. Are you ready to leverage it?

The building materials industry is at a unique crossroads: customers want more personalized service than ever before. And AI may lend itself best to the needs of the building materials industry to deliver that. Executive Creative Director and Brand Strategist Anita Holman explores how this game-changing tool could enhance every brand’s ability to develop personalized advice in ways that were never humanly possible before.