Contractor loyalty programs are quickly becoming tried-and-true marketing techniques for B2C brands and retailers. Programs like Amazon Prime are showing their power to win repeat business.

But for building products manufacturers, it’s a slightly different animal.

Overall, marketers are planning to allocate greater budgets to customer loyalty programs. According to a recent survey of digital marketers, more than half said they plan to increase their spending on loyalty programs at least somewhat, with 13 percent planning significant increases.

Their plans, it seems, are well placed, as consumers are quick to sign up and participate in loyalty programs, as long as the rewards are good and the program is simple, according to another survey.

More Than Rebates

For building products manufacturers, loyalty programs represent a different challenge.

Typically, their programs are designed for contractors, installers or other trade customers rather than consumers. These audiences are crucial because they are often the “face” of the brand to the consumer.

So to stand out among the trade audience, programs have to do more than win their loyalty; they have to win their advocacy. Rebates and trips to the Caribbean are great, but the best contractor loyalty programs offer more meaningful benefits.

They help contractors run their businesses

Most contractors run small, local operations. They started their businesses because they love the work and they’re good at it. Recognizing this, some manufacturer loyalty programs provide benefits and services that streamline business operations so the contractor can spend more time getting customers and doing the work.

Simpson Strong-Tie’s Builder Program provides engineering support and expert plan reviews, helping to minimize installation costs.

They showcase contractors’ work

Being small businesses, contractors often don’t have the resources to create slick web sites or social media campaigns. To give their contractors more exposure, some manufacturers showcase their work on their channels.

Through its Contractor Spotlight program, TimberTech lets customers upload photos of finished projects, which are then posted on the TimberTech web site along with the company’s information.

They build consumer confidence

For products like roofing, siding and windows, where the installation is just as important as the product itself, consumers appreciate knowing they’ve hired an expert installer. Manufacturers can promote this confidence by offering certified installer programs that provide contractors with the tools and know-how to ensure proper installation. Factory certifications are also a great marketing tool.

GAF offers a Factory Certified Contractor program that provides training and support, as well as marketing materials to help contractors promote their businesses.

Looking forward to participating with our industry friends next month at the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta. But why wait? If you would like to discuss your brand’s Contractor Loyalty Program in further detail, contact us here.