Words and What Words Mean are Important

This is part of a comprehensive report seeking to help industrial construction marketers create a much-needed new playbook to do just that with their brands in an ever-increasing competitive landscape. For more information, including the complete report, contact: info@a-i-m.com.  _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________The industrial construction market presents a unique opportunity to look at such language, not only because the market seems to be booming, but because examining it will give clues to understanding any market when it comes to brand building.

What we immediately found in our look into the industrial construction market is that there are unclear definitions of what is or is not “industrial.”

For example, there are 996 owners in the “owner” category of the industrial planning stage for the projects we examined and there are 1,858 projects in the PLANNING stage. This means some owners have more than one project going on.

Our investigation for this paper was within these 1,858 projects which are valued at over $134 billion.

In the category of manufacturing, there are 629 projects. In warehouses, there were 509 projects classified as such. This means there are lots of targets. But are all projects categorized with such labels really “manufacturing” or “warehouses?”

For example, one of the 996 owners was Bitwise Industries. This company was the 5th ranked owner in our dataset in terms of number of projects (4), valued at $29 million. But Bitwise is a training company. How did it end up being classified in the industrial category? (Maybe they are building manufacturing facilities to print their training information or a warehouse to store their training materials? For example, a Kroger fulfillment center might be a warehouse if they are warehousing goods to send to the local stores which are retail. Or, a bottling company for Coca Cola is a manufacturer. but the storage of product could be distributor.)

Another example is the “usual suspects” like Amazon, Costco, and others. “Warehouses” are typically industrial, but they are also retail, aren’t they? The database does a good job at segmenting these (i.e., Kroger is building a $100-million fulfillment center in Oakwood Village, Ohio). But are all warehouses actually warehouses in the dataset?

Categorization of projects is key to fully understanding trends in a market which is constantly shifting. Improper categorization will lead to false conclusions. Often, if not always, categorization is in the eye of the beholder. Therefore, our recommendation is to analyze carefully what a database classifies a project, regardless of who is offering you the database.

And while not everyone may agree on “type” of a specific building, it is important to agree if you are going to analyze a market with success. Especially if you are going to hatch the right strategy.

That’s what Aristotle taught us: definitions matter.

The owner analysis takes this into consideration and examines the industrial category carefully. While we do not examine EACH project, we try to help you determine the right strategy for your industrial construction market penetration strategy to protect your brand. And the conclusion we reached: it’s not about the project. It’s about the people who control the projects.

Projects come and go. The people who run projects – architects, engineers, contractors, etc. – may also come and go. But the people will come and go to other firms that manage other projects. Therefore, your new playbook should focus in on PEOPLE, not PROJECTS. And that’s what this paper is all about, starting with the people who control the entire project (because it’s always about the money) – the owners.