We chat with a lot of product manufacturers here at theCADcube. Manufacturers of everything from furniture, lighting and other design products, to actual building components and construction materials.
We always ask 'How do you promote your products to architects and designers?' To which the normal response is either 'We regularly send out catalogues with our latest range of products.' Or, 'We don't have a process or materials designed specifically for this market, should we?'
Digging a little deeper, those who do send, and sometimes personally deliver their catalogues, often do so because they feel they should, it's just what you do, rather than it being something that is measurably valuable. Those who don't have either given up on the catalogues or are unaware of the benefits of an architect or designer specifying their product. This is perfectly understandable, after all this designer isn't necessarily the person making the final decision and signing off the purchase.
However, when your product is specified by an architect, interior designer or other design professional, this is a form of testimonial, a vote of confidence in your product. These design professionals are effectively selling your product to their clients and contractors and are therefore potentially an invaluable member of your sales team.
The most important aspect of selling to architects and designers is making it easy for them to find and specify your products. These professionals have little time to waste looking for you, so when they do, you want them to find you with little fuss.
Sending out catalogues is costly and, unless you have been lucky enough that it has landed on their desk at the exact time they require one of your products, the truth is most of these end up being filed away and forgotten about.
Most, if not all manufacturers now have some sort of online presence, so just 'being online' isn't any real advantage. It perhaps means you don't need to send out the physical catalogue, but you still need the designer to find you, and this means promotional costs to you and the remaining hassle to the designer having to search through endless manufacturers websites to find the products and information they require.
There is also a disconnect between images of a product and how it will look, fit or work within a specific project, so not only do we need a more efficient process, we need one which is more useful to the designer and the tools they use.
And this is where 3D CAD models and theCADcube comes in.
By making CAD models of your products available, along with the desired information, architects and designers can physically include your products in their designs. This helps strengthen your place within the specification and ultimately makes it more likely that your product is purchased.
Our aim is to make it as easy as possible for architects and designers to find and specify manufacturers products. So we are creating a central library of manufacturer products which provides not only information about the manufacturer and the products, but also a format that the design professional can actually use, in the downloadable CAD models.
If you were a designer in need of a particular product, and had the choice of hunting through your mountain of manufacturer catalogues, which may be out of date, or logging onto a website that you know has a range of manufacturers products, in a format you can download and incorporate directly into your designs, which would you do?
By promoting on theCADcube, manufacturers can start efficiently selling to architects and designers in a way that is both cost-effective and measurable.
Are you a manufacturer? How do you promote to architects and designers? Leave a comment or drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org