Breaking New Ground; Claiming New Territory
Legrand, based in France, is a global specialist in electrical and digital building infrastructures. With a portfolio of well-known brands that are sold through both commercial and retail channels, the company has a strong presence in North America.
In an effort to expand its influence and carve out a strategic foothold among the builders of mainstream production homes – the fastest growing building segment – Legrand’s major initiative for the year was to develop and deploy the first home automation platform designed specifically for builders of low-to-mid priced production homes.
Unlike the luxury homebuilding market, where elaborate systems are customize to meet the homeowner’s specific needs, builders of mainstream production homes have very specific requirements: everything must be cost-effective, modular for fast installation, and easily repeatable from house to house.
The company faced two challenges: Convincing these builders that consumer buying habits necessitated including these technology systems in lower-priced homes, and convincing them that Legrand’s Intuity platform was the best, most profitable option available to them.
Prior to introducing Intuity to the market, Roher began a thought-leadership campaign that placed
Legrand-bylined, manufacturer-neutral, “table-setting” trend columns to homebuilder magazines designed to convince homebuilders that young homebuyers’ expectations demanded including technology in their homes. To these buyers, technology is as basic a utility as electricity or plumbing.
Understanding additional resistance stemming from the fact that homebuilders were not necessarily technology experts, we also produced similarly by-lined columns offering builders advice on how to select and work with technology integrators.
These articles appeared in the leading magazines in the building trade, including Builder, Builder & Developer, and Options.
Complementing those articles, Roher also produced articles for technology integrator magazines offering insights on selling to and working with builders.
When the Intuity launch date approached, Roher arranged pre-launch, one-on-one press briefings to the editors of building and integrator magazines. Editors were provided with embargoed information just prior to the briefing, which gave them an overview and allowed them to develop their own questions.
Understanding that the sales cycle to production homebuilders can be as long as 10-12 months, immediate sales were not anticipated. But the communications strategy surpassed expectations: Within two months of the launch, Legrand was engaged in discussions with more than 200 builders nationwide.
"The success of our Intuity launch was the direct result of the plan Roher created and executed. But that was not a surprise; Torin Roher has routinely given us sound counsel, been adaptable to changing plans, and consistently exceeded our expectations."
Sr. Marketing Communications Manager
Legrand, North America