Page 5: The strategy
All successful business organisations have a strategy, i.e. a long-term plan which sets out the key objective of the organisation over a period of time (usually about five years). Akzo Nobel’s key objective is: 'Through the development of our Joinery brands, establish/extended maintenance programmes based upon the specifications of Sikkens and Sadolin Joinery and Woodcare products, to realise a lifetime strategy for timber.'
Akzo Nobel Woodcare Products division is therefore actively seeking to communicate the importance of changing back to timber and using key products in particular those from the Sikkens range to coat and maintain timber. This strategy involves:
- establishing a complete range of woodcare products and services that meet the specific needs of its customer base
- communicating valued product qualities and benefits that significantly differentiate its brands from those of its competitors
- gaining acceptance of its products by providing total integrity of the specification of Sikkens woodcare products from inception to completion
- broadening and strengthening its distribution base.
The success of the new strategy depends heavily on effective communication. Akzo Nobel is convinced that it has the right product for a sustainable future. It is therefore utilising all available communication channels to promote Akzo Nobel Woodcare. The emphasis is on promoting timber as a renewable building/design material as well as the commercial and environmental benefits of top quality coating systems. Communications demonstrate how measurable cost savings can be realised through planned maintenance programmes.
For example, well-designed timber windows that have been factory finished will only require a one coat maintenance every five years compared to standard base stained windows that will require at least two coats together with other remedial works during the maintenance programme. A Housing Association with a medium sized housing site of 45 units could make the savings over a 30 year period. Saving £26,775 on one site on a national basis could equate over 12 sites to £321,300.
Akzo Nobel has identified joinery manufacturers with whom it wishes to develop long term partnerships. In addition, a database of joinery and other relevant manufacturers in existing and new markets has been identified to enable the company to widen its customer base.
In order to pursue this strategy Akzo Nobel is researching best practice in product development programmes in Europe and continuously seeking to improve its product so that it remains the first choice for the construction industry and householders. At the same time it is seeking to tailor its range of products to what customers require.
By feeding the latest research in product technology into its product development Akzo Nobel is able to lead the field and quickly bring innovative products to market. Communications are designed specifically for relevant groups including:
- architects and specifiers
- local authorities and housing associations