Marketing Practices in the Urban and Reclaimed Wood Industries

Anna R. Pitti, Omar Espinoza, Robert Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the United States, trees felled in urban areas and wood generated through construction and demolition are primarily disposed of as low-value resources, largely sent to landfills, or utilized for energy, composting, and landscaping mulch. In recent years, the urban and reclaimed wood industries have emerged to provide a higher value-added outlet, foster local economies, and divert supplies from landfills. This paper presents the results of a nationwide survey carried out to understand marketing practices of the urban and reclaimed wood industries. The results indicate that a majority of respondents were small firms operating for less than 10 years, and that they appealed to consumers between 35 and 54 years of age, with upper middle income status. Products and species were widely variable between firms, and sales were largely made-to-order and priced higher than similar products made from traditional sources. Primary promotional messages included quality, aesthetics, and customization, largely advertised via the company’s webpage, word of mouth, and social media. The prevalent distribution channels included direct sales, online sales, and retail sales. Partnerships appeared to be critical for effective raw material procurement, and, despite barriers associated with urban and reclaimed wood materials and production, growth expectations were almost unanimously optimistic, as reported by participating firms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-26
Number of pages12
JournalBioProducts Business
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 17 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements: The authors would like to thank all the companies that participated in the study. Thanks also to Alejandro Sanchez Chinchilla for his assistance during the development phase of this study. The work upon which this publication is based was funded in part through a grant awarded by the Wood Education and Resource Center, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, USDA Forest Service. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Society of Wood Science and Technology. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • marketing
  • reclaimed wood
  • urban wood
  • wood products

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