Competitive Advantage specialises in construction market research, specification strategy and construction sales & marketing training, all specific to the construction industry.

Competitive Advantage helps manufacturing and service organisations in the construction industry. Our clients range from some of the largest organisations in the construction industry to small start-ups. They comprise of construction trade associations, construction product manufacturers, contractors, distributors and design professionals.

Using research to understand how best to communicate with specifiers

In today’s world of changing communications and time-scarce decision makers, our client recognised that the traditional sales methods, used for many decades, may no longer be appropriate. They wanted to conduct research into how best to engage with specifiers. So to inform their sales team engagement and in particular the approach taken by field-based personnel.

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Our research informs Prysmian’s strategic campaign, which scoops top award at the Construction Marketing Awards

Prysmian Group

Since Prysmian changed its brand name in 2008 there was less marketing support in the UK and anecdotal reporting in 2016 suggested that brand awareness amongst SME electrical contractors was falling. To address this they set about implementing a year-long campaign. Research by Competitive Advantage was an essential element to measure the effectiveness of this campaign.

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Using research to inform specifier communication strategies

Hadley Group is the UK’s largest independent manufacturer of cold rolled metal profiles, with a global reach spanning 5 continents. They provide a complete package, from design to custom structural steel framing systems, including purlin and side rail systems. The Hadley Group wished to inform their communications strategy by choosing Competitive Advantage to design and conduct research that would look at brand health and benchmarking their products against competitors, also providing them with a better understanding of the specification process.

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Understanding your construction customer

Eque2 is a market-leading supplier of business management software to the construction and contracting industries, with more than 1,300 customers spanning small to enterprise sized organisations. Eque2 approached Competitive Advantage as they wished to understand in more detail the different activities, within the facilities and building management sector, where software could be used to simplify service processes, so that they could better promote their existing and new software.

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Understanding Dry-Lining/Partitioning Needs in the Education Sectorlogo_fermacell

Fermacell gypsum fibreboard has become a popular choice across Europe for high-performance dry lining project. Inspired by Competitve Advantages’ report into construction activity in the UK Education sector, Fermacell wanted to explore the current known performance requirements for partitions and linings within education buildings. Importantly the research explored performance requirements that may not be met by existing solutions, to gain knowledge for creating competitive advantage.

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Market analysis and benchmarking to determine opportunity

Fixfast design, manufacture and supply fasteners and components for the walls and roofs of industrial, commercial and larger residential buildings. Fixfast approached Competitive Advantage as they wanted a better understanding Fixfast logoof the size and structure of the UK market for roof drainage. They also wanted to understand the size and structure of the UK market for access ladders, a relatively new market for them. In addition to this detailed market analysis, Fixfast also asked Competitive Advantage to benchmark their brand against key competitors.

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Developing a Specification Sales ApproachRobroy Logo

Robroy Industries asked Competitive Advantage to assess the nature of their coated conduit business. Although Robroy’s PVC- coated rigid conduit product is a high performance specification product, it is a relatively small element of the procurement package for electrical installers; as a consequence it tended to be commoditised and often replaced with low quality/cost alternatives. Competitive Advantage were tasked with reviewing: How products are selected; The features and benefits they represent to the different decision makers; The role and influence of Clients, Engineers and Contractors in the selection process. Conclusions from this analysis, presented by Competitive Advantage, informed a new strategy. This lead to Competitive Advantage writing of an implementation plan which listed resources required and those responsible for implementation and timescales. Most of these tasks were undertaken internally by Robroy, with Competitive Advantage working closely providing advice and support.

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Enhancing CPD presentation material to optimise leadsknauf-logo

Knauf had a CPD seminar that had been prepared by their technical team. While it was technically accurate, it did not promote the company or the product. Recognising the missed opportunity that this represented Knauf chose to work with the experienced team at Competitive Advantage to develop and enhance their CPD seminar, to make it more engaging for Architects, to identify ways to maximise the opportunities for Knauf and its product and to pass RIBA’s guidelines for certification.

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Delivering CPD to architects

The Rooflight Company asked Competitive Advantage to work with them on delivering a half day seminar for Architects. 270928_224974990867762_6454744_n

The Rooflight Company requested that Competitive Advantage draw on their industry knowledge to compile a suitable agenda that incorporated a guest speaker. Competitive Advantage was also asked to manage the event by sourcing a suitable venue, provide support through developing the agenda wording and email invitations, manage the registration process and manage the event on the day.

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Market feedback and evaluation

Eurocell wanted to assess the market positioning of Eurocell brands against the competitor brand, identifying perceived differences. Eurocell LogoIn talking through requirements with Eurocell, Competitive Advantage proposed a multi-channel approach, using on-site visits, branch visits as well as phone and email research.

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Understanding key decision makers

Promat wanted to review the market for their fire resistant panel Promat DURASTEEL®, to understand why it is used and who the key decision makers are. Previous Promat blue logoresearch had dictated that they should target architects which they continued to do for a number of years successfully, but as the construction market changed Promat needed to do some more up-to-date research.

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Benchmarking brand

Competitive Advantage was asked by H+H to introduce a variation of the Net Promoter Score (NPS),H+H logo to measure the likelihood of specification of their brand by architects. They wanted to measure and track the strength of the ‘H+H’ brand against other leading construction brands operating in similar markets.

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Identifying how to deliver a sustainable future

2021 Vision2021 Vision is a research project jointly conceived and funded by ECA and NICEIC to provide a long-term view of the next 10 years for the electrical contracting industry.

Competitive Advantage was contracted to conduct the research, which sought to provide long term guidance, to enable electrical contractors to see past the immediate and prepare for the next stage of opportunities coming with the drive for a sustainable future.

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Review of product usage in the UK new build housing market

baxi-logoBaxi wished to have a greater understanding of the use of hot water systems in the UK new build housing market. It engaged Competitive Advantage to complete this project on its behalf.

The in-house team at Competitive Advantage conducted research amongst private developers. Over 200 offices of the top 20 house builders participated. The interviews were conducted by telephone and where possible were held with Construction Directors/Managers.

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Regular measurement of customer satisfaction

H+H logoEnsuring a good level of customer satisfaction is key to the success of every business and should be measured on a regular basis. H+H have a strong commitment to their customer base and as such seek to conduct regular surveys to gauge and benchmark customer satisfaction.

H+H engages Competitive Advantage to complete these surveys, as well as collate and interpret the information. A feature of the Competitive Advantage report is the use of multi-attribute attitude mapping.

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Construction market size analysis

New-HS-logoHeatrae Sadia wanted to understand better the potential UK market size for unvented cylinders (calorifiers) over 300 litre. As a first step the experienced team at Competitive Advantage conducted initial research with members of the Heatrae Sadia management team. This informed the specifier and installer questionnaires and the market sectors to focus on.

The in-house team at Competitive Advantage then completed 150 telephone interviews with Architects, Sustainability Consultants, Building Service Engineers, Public Health Engineers and System Installers.

By overlaying this report on the published CPA Construction Industry Forecasts a projection of future product demand was provided.

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Understanding the specification process

logo_marley_p_dMarley Plumbing and Drainage wanted to get a greater understanding of how plastic pipework products were selected and specified. The experienced team at Competitive Advantage conducted research amongst Building Services Engineers, Heating Engineers, M&E and Plumbing Contractors, the research delivered insight into their attitude and influence in the specification process.

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Understanding the influences on the purchasing decision process

logo rockfonRockfon wished to analyse the purchasing habits of Ceiling Installers. Working with Competitive Advantage it was agreed that analysis of the market place should be completed to inform the business development plan.

The team at Competitive Advantage completed a programme of telephone interviews. Then, to qualify the feedback gained from the telephone research, a mystery shopper exercise was also conducted.

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