In the year 2023, we know we must include a finish on every faucet from any vendor. The same as when we order an automobile, chair or lighting. Adding colors to any piece makes it special and in many instances the color is more important than any other look that product offers.
Color is so important and so individual, that a red indoor paint search on Sherwin - Williams' website delivers more than 140 related colors.
How many brass finish colors does the decorative plumbing industry offer? I did a quick Google search and completed the list below referencing page one links:
- Polished Brass;
- Satin Brass;
- Tuscan Brass;
- Unlacquered Brass;
- Aged bass;
- Antique brass;
- Frost Brass;
- Tuscan Bras;
- Brilliance Brass;
- Weathered Brass;
- Burnished Brass;
- Elite Brass;
- Matte Brass;
- Brushed Brass;
- French Brass;
- Brass Waxed;
- Tarnished Brass;
- French Brass;
- Radiant Natural Brass; and
- Old English Brass.
How many brass finish treatments do you show and offer in your showrooms?
Many of these finish looks easily come to our showroom-educated minds, others vary greatly depending on the manufacturer and others. And that is the marketing key. All these brass finishes look glamorous and many will look fabulous in your client’s new space. But, in today’s world, people want the perfect fit and the perfect fit can only exist if there are many choices available.
To appreciate the concept of having countless choices is necessary to select the “just right” color for the job, let your mind wander into the paint, fabric and flooring worlds. All these product categories offer a unique combination of application, material, color and texture. These variables create an unimaginable number of options for each product showroom. Each paint, fabric and flooring showroom salesperson must have a firm grasp on their product offering options to earn the trust of their customers. Every decorative plumbing showroom consultant must have a working understanding of the difference between Brand A’s satin nickel and Brand B’s brushed nickel. By working understanding, I mean constantly studying the market to ensure their finish knowledge is up-to-date and that is no easy task.
Every decorative plumbing showroom consultant must have a working understanding of the difference between Brand A’s satin nickel and Brand B’s brushed nickel. By working understanding, I mean constantly studying the market to ensure their finish knowledge is up-to-date and that is no easy task.
Then, to complicate matters, decorative plumbing color matrices, brands are starting to name their new finishes with no reference to the metal treatment nor the base metal color. Today we are seeing finishes named Gunmetal, Charcoal and Finox?
With all this finish expansion and decorative branding the key here is not to let your designer, builder and homeowner clients get overwhelmed and confused by all of the combinations of finishes, styles and applications. If they become overwhelmed, your professional clients will gravitate away from allotting the time to always selecting just the right look to selecting one trusted brand and note two or three series styles for their bathroom and a couple of kitchen faucets for every job possible. Designers and builders must make many decisions during the life of a job and only have so much time and budget. If they can save time and energy selecting the bathroom and kitchen fixtures, great.
The client trusts their hired professional and will pick from their curated designs. That selection is then ordered from www.coolfaucets.com. Once that happens, plumbing showrooms slip to secondary status. Busy builders and designers will now learn about happening in the decorative plumbing world from social media, word of mouth and emails from a few trusted brands. Unfortunately, this is happening now. In my showroom days, I was always shocked and a tad ticked off to learn a talented and popular design team who created a highly curated selection for their clients and purchased every piece on the World Wide Web.
To combat this confusion and use it to supplant your brand as the leader, I suggest these three actions:
Make sure your sales team is current on every finish available. Review your showroom consultants and identify those that appreciate the finish side of our business. With that list, select one to monthly cruise the internet looking for new finishes. Every time they find one, get a sample and share that finish story with your team. This will help your team remain current and not allow them to be caught off-guard by a client asking about a new finish from a brand you do not champion
Add any product updates to your social media content. Also, email the same information to your top professional clients making sure it is sent by their usual showroom consultant. When a trusted name, not a band shows up in their inbox, they are more likely to open and read it.
Individually reach out to your top design teams and luxury and premium builders in your target market to arrange focused quarterly meeting on what’s new in the decorative plumbing world. This is a great opportunity for a showroom consultant to show these talented people what they know and how their knowledge will protect and improve designer and builder’s deliverables and market reputations.
We all know the world is continually becoming more and more complicated offering more and more options for everything. Our opportunity is to make decorative plumbing products an easy, beautiful add to any job and, with a bit of luck, make them as important to a job as its paint colors.