We Built This City
Construction workers have a bad reputation, and romantic comedies are mostly to blame. Not every construction worker is going to whistle when an attractive woman walks by. Why, do you ask? Oh, you know, because they are operating heavy, deadly machinery and working on attention-consuming things like building infrastructures and foundations—those little things that keep tall office buildings upright. To the surprise and occasional chagrin of many rom-com fans (PM staff included), construction workers have more important things to do than gawk at passersby. Their safety and the safety of their coworkers are more important to them, and they should be important to you too. Here is why you should sell to construction workers and other rugged markets, and the products you need to ensure a long-term safety program.
REASONS TO SELL
1. Safety gear has few notable changes year to year.
Kevin Xiao, vice president of Atteff International, Ontario, Calif., mentioned that there have been no significant changes to rugged gear in the last year. That is a good thing, because it means the items are working. "Demands have been stable," he said. John Perez, marketing associate for Tri-Mountain, Irwindale, Calif., added that changes occur only when ANSI safety standards are updated, which occurs every five years. The last update was in 2010, so work wear will remain the same until at least 2015.
2. Most industries need safety products.
"Safety products are widely used in different industries," Xiao pointed out. He listed strong markets as construction, oil and gas, transportation, automotive, trucking, utility, manufacturing, landscaping, education, agriculture and shooting ranges. Perez gave an example of a construction company that uses safety products. "Safety apparel is in demand from the public sector and organizations like CalTrans, California's state agency responsible for planning, maintenance and construction of highways, bridges and railways here in California," he said. "Construction companies who work on similar road projects are also looking for this type of apparel," he added. "And all of them need it for good reason too, to stay safe on the job by increasing visibility in the midst of hazardous traffic, heavy equipment and inclement weather or any other hazards."
3. There's a piece of safety gear for every season, but they are not seasonal products.
Xiao mentioned that every time of year has its best-selling safety item, but every piece is still perennial because workers always need to be safe. "Gloves are better in the fall/winter season, while safety apparel/glasses tend to be better in spring/summer," he said. "But compared to other items, safety products are less seasonal," Xiao added. Perez mentioned that Tri-Mountain sees a spike in work wear sales in fall and winter, but for the most part safety gear sales stay strong all year. "Perhaps it's because of the ongoing demand for safety wear; it's not necessarily a seasonal product. People will always be in need of safety wear, and that's a good thing," he explained.