In this second instalment, graduate of architecture, designer and visualiser, Jonathan Muller, shares his expertise on how to get your furnishing products in front of architects and specifiers. By building a 3D model of your products, and offering it for free download, you are creating a virtual catalogue that will increase the possibility of your products being specified on projects, often in considerable volume. Without this digital presence you have basically zero chance of your products being seen, liked or specified.
Stay tuned for next week’s tips on ‘How to make the change’.
There is a cost associated with building downloadable content, but it should be viewed as being a marketing and promotion cost amortised over the whole product range of the company, since someone browsing for a chair will often expose the entire range of your products such as your sofas, tables, etc. They may specify multiple products or not, but once your site is bookmarked and remembered, they will likely come back for the next project.
A bonus of moving across from the purely domestic furniture market to architectural specifiers is that you are encouraged to design and produce products that don’t compete purely on price points. There is a lot of competition at low end domestic since barriers to entry are low. With specifiers, the product will be judged on the value it adds to the project in total.
With prestige projects that means prestige furniture. Local design and manufacture can offer advantages like customisation that are more difficult for imports; this is a huge advantage waiting to be exploited. Traditional manufacturing prohibits customising, but innovative design can make semi-bespoke a high value-added option. Get your products specified!
The Australasian Furnishing Association can assist suppliers who can see the benefits of web based downloadable content with the AFA’s digital ‘trade fair’. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Jonathan Muller, BArch. is an architect who has designed furniture for a number of local manufacturers. He was an assistant to Fred Lowen at Module International and has been an Australia Council awarded designer/maker of timber furniture. More recently he was associate at a health planning and architectural practice. His expertise is in architectural and Interior concept design and software rendering.