Palatine, Ill. -- Accountability Information Management (AIM), a leading B2B research company, recently published a new article exploring brand perception, preferences, and the level of involvement of architects, and how those factors impact architects' decisions to recommend or specify products. The article, “Resilient Flooring: Taking the Right Path to Specification,” uses research drawn from a prior AIM study to make recommendations for how manufacturers can improve their brand preference among architects and increase the odds of their products being specified.

Using the flooring industry as an example, the article draws from data found in AIM's comprehensive Architects' Brand Preference Study of 2008 and ConstructConnect, which reveal the competitive nature of flooring materials in terms of the architect's perspective. The AIM Preference study revealed a key finding in the resilient flooring category: the majority of the architects surveyed (51%) actively make decisions and have brand preferences, while an additional 30% make specification decisions, but have no brand preferences.

"Preferred brands may change over time, but architects' mindsets about specification remain the same," says Patty Fleider, lead researcher at AIM. "Architects, whether or not they have firm brand preferences, are highly involved in the specification process and in making final decisions when it comes to product selection."

AIM's article on the specification process helps manufacturers answer key questions such as: what can manufacturers do to enhance brand preference?; and how can manufacturers convert "no preference" answers into specifications and recommendations for their brands?

"Our research reveals that a key factor in gaining ground in specifications is having your product listed as the 'basis of design,'" says Jim Nowakowski, president of AIM. "'Basis of design' classification gives manufacturers an extra advantage in an industry that grows more competitive every year."

"The data indicates that there are ample opportunities for growth as the 'basis of design' in multiple industries," Nowakowski added. "A well-planned contact, education and market strategy can help clarify the path to specification for your products among architects."

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