Analysis of Marketing Practices Implemented by Value-Added Urban and Reclaimed Wood Firms

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Analysis of Marketing Practices Implemented by Value-Added Urban and Reclaimed Wood Firms

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2019-07

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Abstract

In the United States, trees felled in urban areas and wood generated through construction and demolition are typically disposed of in landfills or used for low-value applications, such as energy production or landscaping mulch. In recent years, the urban and reclaimed wood industries have emerged to divert supplies from landfills and provide a higher value-added outlet. Due to the newly established nature of these industries, literature specific to marketing practices adopted by these companies is largely non-existent. The objective of this research was to identify marketing practices implemented by firms operating in the urban and reclaimed wood industries and provide effective marketing strategy recommendations. The resulting recommendations are intended to help increase urban and reclaimed wood utilization, in turn helping to foster local economies, decreasing stress to landfills, and providing more options to environmentally-conscious consumers. HASH(0x3fdc0f8) To accomplish the research objectives, an industry survey and case studies of value-added urban and reclaimed wood firms were conducted. Firms were asked to report on company characteristics, consumer characteristics, marketing practices, opportunities, and barriers. Marketing practices were evaluated using the “marketing mix” framework to evaluate products, pricing, promotion, and distribution. Results from this study indicate that, in general, urban and reclaimed wood firms are small, reported utilizing urban or reclaimed wood for less than 10 years, and leveraged one or more partnerships for effective raw material procurement. Products are primarily made-to-order using highly variable raw materials, where raw material type influences products made and species utilized for production. Firms indicated pricing their products slightly higher than, or in line with their competition. Urban and reclaimed wood firms typically leverage word of mouth, company webpages, and social media to communicate messages of quality, aesthetics, and customizability, largely appealing to consumers with differentiated product attributes. Distribution channels used include primarily direct sales, online sales, and retail sales. Firms identified lack of financial resources, lack of storage space, and under-performing or insufficient marketing efforts as main barriers to growth; however, participating firm responses indicated healthy growth expectations.

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University of Minnesota M.S. thesis . July 2019. Major: Bioproducts/Biosystems Science Engineering and Management. Advisor: Omar Espinoza. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 134 pages.

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Pitti, Anna. (2019). Analysis of Marketing Practices Implemented by Value-Added Urban and Reclaimed Wood Firms. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/224474.

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