Building a New Business by Building a Brand


Brunner + James Hardie
New Market Entry

Challenge

An Australian-based company, James Hardie had a minimal presence in North America. The advantages of cement board were numerous, but there was virtually no awareness and little channel support. They asked Brunner to help flip the script and support their plans for expansion.

Solution

  • Online Advertising

Insights
The whole channel works on demand. Dealers carry what contractors specify; contractors specify what homeowners are demanding. Those consumer tastes were changing. Aesthetics and quality were driving more of the cladding decisions.

Strategy
By identifying strong builder partners in key markets, Brunner could build awareness at the consumer level, then be able to leverage demand quickly back through the channel. Market by market, neighborhood by neighborhood, builders were more than willing to up-sell to HardiePlank, thanks to strong, brand-specific awareness.

Results

“Cement board” was a home construction afterthought. Fast forward a few years, and HardiePlank® is the #1 brand of siding in America, experiencing 40% annual growth for five straight years.

James Hardie

The Client
James Hardie

Building Materials
~3,100 Employees
Brunner

The Agency
Brunner

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
~175 Employees