Under the Influence: How Habits Increase Product Specifications

Posted On: 
Apr 19, 2018
Under the Influence: How Habits Increase Product Specifications

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit,” said Aristotle. When under the influence of positive triggers, architects will specify a certain product. Through a series of examples, we will outline how an architect’s habits increase product specifications.

In a previous blog, Habits- How To Influence Product Specifications, we discussed that building product manufacturers that form strong user habits open more doors for specification opportunities. Innovative manufacturers link their products to the design professional’s routines and emotions.

How Do Habits Affect Product Specification?

Scientists define habits as automatic behaviors triggered by situational cues. Habitual behavior many times goes unnoticed in persons exhibiting it, because a person doesn’t need to engage in self-analysis when undertaking routine tasks. An architect that always specifies a particular concrete block, window, door, paint, etc. doesn’t slam on the brakes and analyze every product for every project. Specifying certain products becomes routine.

Building products that are routinely specified are selected because of a trigger. An external trigger could be a magazine article, email promotion, tradeshow event, or AIA continuing education. Preceding events can trigger a habit. Product reps that routinely visit the same AEC firm, deliver AIA Lunch and Learns, and build rapport with the project team can help trigger a specification opportunity in the future.

AIA Continuing Education Can be a Trigger

Building product manufacturers that develop engaging online AIA courses can help trigger specification opportunities. For example, if an architect is researching information on structural insulated panels (SIPs), they may take an AIA online course on the topic. The free AIA course looks interesting and motivates the architect to participate.

After finishing the course and receiving an AIA LU, the architect visit’s the manufacturer’s website to learn more about SIPs. The free AIA course has triggered an action, another step toward product specification. The architect is awarded with detailed information about SIPs, BIM resources, guide specs, etc. on the manufacturer’s website. If the AIA course, manufacturer’s website, and accompanying information are great, then the architect receives a positive emotion from the experience.

The Negatives of a Product Specification Trigger

The negative benefit of a product specification trigger is too much business! Just kidding. Every manufacturer wants their products to be specified; however, a successful trigger must allow for immediate action. If you offer effective AIA continuing education, a great website, then you better have the proper tools in place for specification.

It is crucial that building product manufacturers invest in the right tools: 3-part guide specs, LEED product documentation, drawings, testing information, certifications, and Health Product Declarations (HPDs). Without the proper resources, an architect will seek out another product. Why give your competitor’s your business? Overall, product manufacturers can increase their opportunities once they provide positive triggers and the appropriate resources. How does your company help influence product specifications?

For more information or to discuss the topic of this blog, please contact Brad Blank