The Southern Pine Council, a joint promotional body that is coordinated and supported by members of the Southern Forest Products Association and the Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association, will launch a branding initiative that targets building and remodeling professionals.
"We want to go after the professional audience because they make a majority of the purchasing decisions," says Jeff Easterling, vice president of marketing for the Southern Pine Council. "They're a critical component [of the campaign]."
Using successful brands like Coca-Cola and Nike as models, the SPC developed a comprehensive brand identity program for one of the nation's oldest lumber species. The brand revolves around the slogan "Southern Pine By Design." The slogan, which aims to position Southern Pine lumber by establishing a first-ever brand-name for the species, will be incorporated in promotional material ranging from signage to point-of-purchase displays to brochures. The SPC unveiled the program at the Remodelers Show in Dallas, and plans to introduce the program to its members in April. As a result, builders and remodelers could see the brand at building supply stores by mid-year.
Realizing that professionals have more choices than ever before when it comes to building materials, the SPC is attempting to raise the bar. "Every product line tries to differentiate themselves," says Easterling. "We felt this would help us step away from the other commodities."
Alternative building materials such as steel and concrete are becoming more popular with builders and remodelers, but SPC spokesperson Kim Drew insists the SPC brand is a proactive measure rather than a defensive position. The SPC is betting that lumber's characteristics highlighted by the campaign--strength, treatability, and beauty--will encourage specifiers to select Southern Pine. The brand's related tagline asserts that lumber users can "Build with Confidence" by designing with Southern Pine.
To date, no other U.S. lumber species is promoted by brand identification.