B2B research firm Accountability Information Management, Inc. (AIM) recently published a comprehensive new report, Quality is Key to Being a Player in Lighting Control Specifications. Or is it?
AIM had this to say about their findings in a press release:
Most B2B manufacturing professionals will tell you that you must be among the best in terms of quality in order to become a part of a designer’s or owner’s short list. In fact, manufacturers must achieve a certain “level” of quality (the same or better than competitive brands) or they will likely never be included in specifications.
But, what does “quality” really mean? Furthermore, “quality” about what? The lighting? The control system? The entire building automation system?
“Trying to understand ‘quality’ is a tricky concept,” says Patty Fleider, lead researcher at AIM. “What quality means to one architect or designer, means something else to another. A designer or architect must understand and know their client’s definition of quality. Does it mean durability, or does it mean performance, or does it mean free-from-defects?”
According to the recent 2019 lighting survey conducted by Electrical Contactor Magazine, electrical contractors who primarily work on commercial, industrial or institutional projects are most often (88%) asked to discuss lighting quality with owners. In addition, the most often lighting trend owners asked electrical contractors about was the quality of lighting products. 63% of electrical contractors indicated owners were very interested in learning about new trends in the quality of lighting, which was higher than owner’s interest in trends for color tuning, energy information, maintenance alerts or software systems.
Results from a proprietary research conducted by AIM, showed 66% of architects/designers stated that the most important benefit when selecting a particular brand of lighting product is product durability and long-term performance. This was higher than the design appeal/look where only 32% indicated it was most important.
“Without actual proof of quality and performance, it will be difficult for lighting control manufacturers to be on the list of brand options in the specs or more important, become the ‘basis of design’ for a particular project,” says Fleider.
Becoming a brand on the architect’s preferred list of brands is the key to impacting a brand’s position in the specifications. To be on a firm’s list of approved lighting control brands, a manufacturer needs to provide more than just a quality product. They need to have a history of top performance, offer premier service and local support for their brand. The key to gaining ground in specifications is to become part of the “basis of design.”
“To learn more about how often ‘basis of design’ is used in lighting specifications, we used ConstructConnect™, (https://www.constructconnect.com/), an online construction database, to get a better sense of how lighting products are specified. By searching the projects lighting specifications for ‘Lighting with Basis of Design,’ in specific years, we can see how the specification for ‘basis of design’ and specific brands has changed,” Fleider says.
Click here to read the report.