Wienerberger UK goes ‘On the Road’

Wienerberger UK goes ‘On the Road’

In an article from PBM’s February edition, Daniel Cheung, Lead Channel Manager for Wienerberger UK, explores the importance of collaboration between merchants and manufacturers to deliver better results for customers.

I don’t need to dwell on the last two years but one thing is clear, it’s been a challenging time for the industry. While manufacturers and merchants have been dealing with delays and price increases on raw materials, tradespeople have been battling product shortages. All of this before you even consider the impact of lockdowns and periods of isolation on work schedules.

Businesses throughout the supply chain have been forced to adapt in numerous ways and one of the most interesting points for me has been the changing way in which manufacturers and merchants have worked together.

As roadshow tours and in-store events were forced off the agenda at the peak of the pandemic, joint marketing initiatives were turned on their head. Online sessions, in-store POS, combined collateral and video content have all been used successfully across the industry in the absence of face-to-face activities.

In many cases, it has only strengthened the relationship between manufacturers and merchants as they worked creatively to deliver new and enhanced solutions to support end users. Now, we are seeing the welcome return of roadshows and in-store activity as manufacturers make efforts to get back in front of their customers and — with the foundation of those stronger relationships — it will only benefit customers.

In an article from PBM’s February edition, Wienerberger UK's Daniel Cheung explores the importance of collaboration between merchants and manufacturers to deliver better results for customers.

The value of good advice

The role of a merchant has always been more than just selling products. Merchants have a part to play in ensuring the quality and reliability of each individual job, largely by offering the advice needed to ensure correct specification of products.

Of course, the reality is that merchant staff simply can’t be experts in every category. Instead, they must rely on close working relationships with manufacturers, on hand to support with everything from merchandising and specification to after-sales and technical support.

And as customer expectations continue to grow and with merchants operating in increasingly competitive markets, the value of such services will only increase. Thus, the importance of collaboration is greater than ever.

Getting back face-to-face

The good news is that opportunities to meet customers are available once again. For example, Wienerberger recently ran a nationwide tour of Jewson branches — our first since the outbreak of Coronavirus back in March 2020 (see panel below). We learnt a lot from the tour, from what it’s like working in the trade at the moment to how end users are adapting to the challenges.

It was also a valuable reminder of how important it is, now that the world has opened-up again, that merchants open their doors for manufacturers and customers to engage.

High recognition brands have a vital role to play in supporting their merchant customers beyond the basic supply of products, with education and insight, forward-thinking approaches and good communication. And with all of the above in mind, it’s more important than ever that they step up to that role as the world begins to return to some sort of normality.

We’re not the only industry that has lost a personal touch in the last 18 months or more, but now is the time to get back out and meet the men and women who are using products day in, day out, working together to present the solutions that can overcome their challenges.

Click here for more information on Wienerberger’s products and support services for merchants.

Wienerberger and Jewson

In October 2021, Wienerberger partnered with Jewson to run a nationwide tour across five days — one of the industry’s first face-to-face roadshow events in merchant car parks since the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020.

The ‘On the Road’ tour was hosted by builder and broadcaster, Andy Stevens, who visited a selection of Jewson branches across the UK to ask builders about the challenges and opportunities of the last 18 months.

Andy, together with bricklayers, Matt and Rob, also had some fun along the way with the ‘Wienerberger Wheel of Fortune’, offering a host of daily prizes including Jewson gift cards, Komelon Essentials, Nando’s gift cards and a £1,000 Centre Parcs voucher. Andy, Matt and Rob also visited the firm’s manufacturing sites to learn more about the company’s distribution and production from its 14 UK factories.

Ian O’Brien, Category Manager for Jewson, said: “We know how important seeing people face-to-face can be when building good relationships with those you work with. After the last two years especially, I think we can all appreciate this a bit more. Wienerberger’s On the Road tour was a great few days for everyone involved and there was so much valuable insight shared from all sides. Our customers found out more about the brand while its team was able to get direct feedback from the people who use the products every day.”

For Wienerberger, it provided a valuable opportunity to gather insight for future engagement and to talk about its ‘future-building’ approach. Most importantly, it also gave the team the opportunity to listen to customers and show their support after what has been a difficult time for many.

In an article from PBM’s February edition, Wienerberger UK's Daniel Cheung explores the importance of collaboration between merchants and manufacturers to deliver better results for customers.

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