How to Increase Market Share Among Younger Contractors

How to Increase Market Share Among Younger Contractors

Millennials now form a significant portion of the professional workforce, including contractors. Here's what to know about this segment of building products buyers.

There’s no silver bullet for attracting new customers, but customized market research delivers the data you need to effectively address the purchase motivations and buying habits of various contractor segments.  Whether it’s tenure, size of company, or type of work.

What Strategies Attract Younger Contractors to Existing Products?

It’s important to look at how demographics within the building and home improvement industry are changing, as you work to plan years in advance. For example, millennials now form a significant portion of the professional workforce. Soon, Gen Z will also play a major role in your branding, product development, distribution and go-to-market strategies as they start taking up jobs in the trades. Efforts to capture market share in these generational categories among Contractor buyer personas need to be underway.

You must offer in-depth, clearly communicated information, easily accessible whenever the mood strikes these younger professionals, a seamless digital purchase experience, consistency across physical and online platforms, and engaging tools, such as product visualizers, cost calculators and 3D imagery, according to our Builder Products Customer report findings.

How Do You Target a Contractor with an Existing Product?

Sometimes it is how your product is packaged, distributed and marketed that gets in the way of appealing to potential customers, not necessarily your product itself. As the saying goes, perception equals reality. 

Consider research to understand:

  • Who is and is not using your product?
  • What brand, perceptions, product attributes come to mind among customers?
  • Have iterative product improvement adequately addressed the use cases necessary to become the preferred brand? 
  • Do contractors gain credibility by association with your brand? 

Then consider the same questions regarding your direct competitors. Your company can modify the way it’s selling to contractors in order to reach them with an existing product and compel them to make the purchase against their lineup of options.

Reaching Trade Professionals With Your Message

Data shows contractors remain busy with new projects, despite increasing costs for products and raw materials. About 56 percent of contractors are booked out at least one week, while 34 percent are booked out at least one month.

Corroborating our findings in the Building Products Customer Guide according to the November findings in our Pro specific Monthly Home Improvement Tracker, these busy trade professionals tend to go where they are familiar, both in person and online, so from a marketing standpoint, it can be difficult to get their attention. 

Your marketing must be delivered in a convenient, digestible medium that meets the customer where they are. 

In store displays are working as are digital means such as Installation videos, transparent pricing, in-depth product specs, and such tactics are straightforward ways to accomplish this task. You don’t have to overcomplicate your marketing; you just have to make it easy for trade professionals to find the information they are looking for during research and installation. They have a job to do efficiently and to proper standards. Help them with that aim. 

Residential contractors are more likely to go online to do preliminary research, price shop and check the availability of products relative to other industry professionals. With that in mind, figure out how you can best inform prospective customers through digital platforms.

As the reports point out, this ongoing shift to online research should be an eye-opener to the industry, especially because an effective reviews strategy takes time to build. Present information on your products in a way that mirrors a site your customers regularly visit and trust, such as Amazon. This helps build confidence in your brand and your products.  

On big box retail websites, your products will appear right next to your competitors. Make sure you put extra thought into answering questions and speaking to pain points. Each product listing should also push your product’s unique value proposition. Further, be honest about what your product isn’t best for or can’t do up front so that trade professionals can self-service along their own purchase journey.

As alluded to earlier, social media is becoming an important resource for contractors—more so for commercial contractors than residential contractors. YouTube, in particular, is used by nearly half of trade professionals for research, while 31 percent rely on Facebook.


Just because online sources are increasingly important for contractors’ product research, however, doesn’t mean you should neglect in-store marketing strategies.

Trade professionals are still conducting research in stores, where they can touch, feel and see the products they’re considering. Pricing and availability are also major concerns for residential and commercial contractors.

As contractors bounce between online and in-store for conducting product research, make sure your messaging is consistent, you reduce context switching, and your marketing strategies for these different environments complement, rather compete against, one another. (Competing promotions and offers as an example).

For more information on the factors and trends shaping the construction industry in the near future, request access to our Building Products Customer Guide.