What’s the Deal?

What did a recent survey reveal about the preferences and perspectives of the equipment dealership community?

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Green Industry Pros recently conducted a survey for equipment dealers seeking to reach the landscape contractor market. While concise, the survey proved to provide valuable insight into the preferences and perspectives of the equipment dealership community.

Brand loyalty is an issue that came up again and again. In fact, 54 percent of equipment dealers claim they only buy or consider a new product from a brand they trust. In contrast, 33 percent of survey respondents say that, if a product is good, they don't care who makes it. Another 12.7 percent think that brand name means nothing, but their seal of approval means everything. In other words, if these dealers say the product's good, their customers trust them and take their word for it.

That begs the question, where do you fall on this spectrum? Are you establishing or have you already established trust with your customers, or do you let the products and brands speak for themselves and your trustworthiness? How important is the brand to you? If we let the majority do the talking, it seems a trusted brand carries a lot of weight with equipment dealers who have landscape contractors relying on them to run their business.

Speaking of brand names, what else do you look for in a product or line of equipment? The majority of survey respondents seemingly want to differentiate themselves from the big-box stores as 49.2 percent are on the lookout for products you can’t get at the big boxes. On the other hand, once again, 25.4 percent are seeking out the brands they can trust. Another 25.4 percent tie for second place with brands they can trust with products they can find parts availability for. After all, why offer services for equipment repair if you can’t get the parts to service the equipment?

Last, but not least, where do you get information on new brands for potential dealer stock? I was pleasantly surprised to see trade publications top the list at 46 percent. The runners-up placed as follows: trade shows at 22 percent, sales representatives at 20.6 percent, online ads at 6.3 percent and customer requests at 4.8 percent.

Do your preferences and perspectives align with those of the equipment dealers surveyed? Why or why not? Drop me a line and let me know your opinion.