After developing and testing a new concept of plastic formwork system successfully, a construction equipment manufacturer was facing challenges of product acceptance in the market due to its much higher acquisition cost as compared to current solutions - MS Plate and Plywood plate. The company engaged IKON to help it improve current marketing strategies to gain product adoption in the market and to create a customer base.
Approach & Recommendations
Working closely with the client, IKON team started with identifying the reasons for less acceptance of the product in the market. Apart from analyzing the product’s performance and past marketing activities of the client, the team conducted a comprehensive study of slab formwork system trends in India. Several interactions with contractors, site engineers and builders were held to generate insights about their current slab formwork practices, its usage pattern and unmet needs.
The team identified that the wrong perception had prevailed in the mind of customers about usability, durability and benefits of the plastic formwork system. Also, the customers were comparing its acquisition cost with current solutions, ignoring its low maintenance cost, usage cost, long life and quality of the slab it can produce. This was mainly due to the way it was being communicated with the customers. Moreover, we found that the construction business is cost conscious and any addition of new technology can increase the overall project cost and also require acceptance of the construction team and builder. Furthermore, we identified the emerging needs of builders and contractors - a formwork system that can produce exposed concrete finish of the slab and be the substitute of plywood based formwork system.
IKON team then charted out a marketing strategies clearly defining the target customer and influencer segments, value proposition and brand promise to communicate. In addition to pricing strategy, a marketing communication plan was developed particularly to educate and persuade site engineers, builders and contractors to try the new formwork system on the site and convey how the overall cost of adopting a plastic formwork system is much lower than the alternatives. In addition, channels and sales plans were recommended with a bunch of actionable milestones.
The client implemented IKON’s recommended marketing strategies and re-launched the product. For less than six months of re-launch, the product met with commercial success. It gained acceptance in the four reputed construction projects.
Note: We are committed to clients' confidentiality. So their names have not been disclosed, but the results are real.