Beyond Brand Name: What Influences Contractors to Try New Products

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Professional contractors are brand loyalists who purchase tools and building supplies based on brands they know and trust, according to national research from Eric Mower + Associates Group B2B's Contractor Specialty Group.

Brand strength isn't the only factor in determining new product adoption, however. When it comes to information on new products, 85 percent of respondents said peer recommendations are important, while 83 percent were likely to recommend a brand they know and trust even if it were higher priced.

Contractors said that the most influential reason for switching brands is because of free product trials. According to EMA's study, 55 percent of respondents said that product trial would move them to switch brands. And 68 percent of contractors would be likely to try a new product introduced by a brand name they'd heard of but never used.

Contractors are getting new product information from a wide variety of locations and formats. According to EMA's study, 50 percent of contractors use a smartphone, 49 percent use a laptop with mobile web access, and 21 percent use an iPad or other tablet for their jobs, suggesting more business purchase research and decisions are being conducted online from the jobsite rather than behind a desk. Tool and building materials brands are most important (65 percent) to contractors when they are on the job.