Shawn Shelton, president of Rembrandt Remodeling, in Atlanta, was searching for a way to stand out. The problem: How do you stand out and sell a profitable job when there are so many siding installers and few, if any, products with branded appeal?
UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION
The solution: Rembrandt Remodeling packages a group of products and markets it as a siding system that appeals on the basis of low maintenance and energy savings. The EnergyClad siding system combines the leading fiber-cement siding, a patented radiant barrier housewrap, and an acrylic exterior coating. Shelton says it provides a “100% maintenance-free exterior,” 20% energy savings, and significantly better sound blocking than other siding products.
The packaged product solution was the brainchild of Peterson Stevens, an Atlanta marketing/advertising agency that specializes in the home improvement industry. According to partner (and REPLACEMENT CONTRACTOR columnist) John Stevens, the trademarked combination will soon be rolled out to other companies, one per television market.
Shelton says that EnergyClad jobs close at about the same rate as other Rembrandt Remodeling siding jobs, but bring in a margin more in line with other products the company sells and installs, such as windows and Owens Corning basement finishing.
OTHER WAYS TO STAND OUT
But other contractors find they can differentiate themselves by their work, rather than their product or combination of products. “Fiber-cement is difficult to install properly, especially where we live,” says Terry Stamman, president of Twin Cities Siding Professionals, in St. Paul, Minn. Stamman's approach is to show customers photos of jobs gone bad due to faulty installation and to explain what needs to be done. “About 30% of our business is fixing other contractors' work,” he says.