Brand and product knowledge of European architects; Involvement in product categories

Rotterdam, 23rd of August 2017 - USP Marketing Consultancy interviewed in total 1.600 European architects in eight countries by phone and asked them, spontaneously, which brands they knew for a specific product category.

Which product categories are least known by architects?

The top 3 of product categories where there is a high percentage of don’t know:

1. Entrance security solutions (49% don’t know)
2. Sun cladding (43% don’t know)
3. Automated doors (27% don’t know)

The top 3 consists of more specialized products which architects have lower influence on. There are however strong local differences. For example, in the Netherlands the percentage of architects unable to name a brand of entrance solutions is 78%. In comparison in Germany this is only 27%.

Now, we will look at the top 3 product categories on an European average where there is a low percentage of don’t know and subsequently a higher involvement.

1. Insulation materials (5% don’t know)
2. Elevators (8% don’t know)
3. Bathroom products (8% don’t know).

There are also country differences for these results. In the Netherlands 88% of the architects could mention a brand of insulation materials compared to 99% of the French architects. Overall it seems that Dutch architects have a lower brand involvement if we look at the share of architects that can’t name a brand in all product categories.

Does a higher brand and product involvement lead to a higher brand preference?

This certainly seems to be the case. We also asked the architects if they have a preferred brand. The highest shares of architects that answered positively is an exact match with the product categories where there was a low share of don’t know answers given. About 79% of the European architects have a preferred brand when using insulation materials. Bathroom products (78%) and elevators (76%) are second and third.

The product categories in which architects could mention a preferred brand the least are brick cavity walls (57%), sun cladding (48%) and entrance security (41%), which might be not surprising as architects are not heavily involved here. Overall it seems that the Dutch architects, besides having less knowledge of brands, also have the least brand preferences.

These results are based on 1,600 successful interviews with architects in 8 countries. We exclude architectural firms with 1 employee from this research and divide the sample between small, medium and large size firms.