The Client:

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 Project:

The Hadley Group wished to inform their communications strategy. To achieve this they chose research that would look at brand health; benchmarking their products against competitors. This research, designed by Competitive Advantage Consultancy Ltd, aimed to provide a better understanding of the specification process, with detail on specifier preferences within the product areas of fencing, steel framing systems, purlins and side rail systems.

The Objectives:

The key objective of the research was to understand the Hadley Group’s brand health in the areas of fencing, steel framing systems, purlins and side rail systems. Thus informing their overall communications strategy. The research was designed to give better understanding of:

  • Level of prompted and unprompted brand recognition, compared to their competitors
  • Reasons why particular brands are specified
  • Attitudes of those that specify particular products
  • Most important considerations for those specifying products for fencing, steel framing systems, purlins and side rail systems
  • Sources of product information for specifiers
  • Key influencers in the specification chain

The Methodology:

Competitive Advantage began by conducting a review of live construction projects, to identify key decision makers including architects, structural engineers, main contractors and steel frame contractors currently working on steel framed building projects.

A structured questionnaire was developed in conjunction with Hadley to meet the overall objectives of the research including understanding which types steel framing systems are specified and the perceptions of suppliers. 100 telephone interviews were then conducted over a period of 2 weeks to obtain feedback from decision makers on their brand usage and how they specify steel framing systems, purlins and side rail systems.

Reporting was in an easy to understand format, including tables, infographics and a management summary of the research findings, providing a comprehensive overview of brand health including, a benchmark for their products against their key competitors.

The Benefits:

Competitive Advantage enabled Hadley to better understand why their brand was specified compared to their main competitors. The research identified the main influences on product selection, as well as the key decision makers in the specification process. The report showed why one brand was specified over another. This allowed Hadley to map the specification process for their products and how brand preferences could be influenced. This key piece of research conducted by Competitive Advantage has given Hadley evidence- based guidance to base their communications strategy on. It has given then a clearer understanding of which decision makers to target, as well as the messages they need to convey to influence specification. The research has also given Hadley a benchmark for their brand health, allowing them to monitor and gauge performance of their marketing efforts.

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