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Talking LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding with Trinh Le, Head of Siding Marketing

LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding is one of the most durable siding solutions on the market, and it represents a great solution for professional builders in terms of quality, workability and economic value. Today, we’re stepping behind the scenes at LP to talk with Trinh Le, head of marketing for LP’s business unit, to get her perspective on the benefits of LP SmartSide products, their economic value, and how she sees the industry moving forward.

Let’s talk about your journey to LP Building Solutions. How does it impact your work now?                                    

In my first role, I was a change management consultant for a large consulting firm. Though you may not immediately see the relevance of change management to marketing, there is a lot that applies to where LP is going from a marketing perspective. In change management you focus on understanding user needs, ensuring the process and experience meet those needs, and developing training to help ease the transition. Today at LP, technology is integral to our marketing team and our customers. We use it to generate leads for our salespeople and our customers. We rely on it to deliver our loyalty programs and on-demand training.  But technology can only add value if we start with understanding user needs and focus on developing great experiences.

I eventually shifted to brand management, leading iconic brands at Nabisco, Kraft and Kellogg. I stayed in the food industry for years, but I realized I still had a lot to learn. I was intrigued by LP’s combination of business to business and business to consumer marketing and the opportunity to lead a larger marketing team. The transformation journey LP was starting to embark on was also really exciting. In my role now I bring my experience in branding and innovation, but I also get to dive deeper into completely new aspects of marketing like lead generation and channel marketing.

During your time with LP, how has the LP SmartSide team moved forward?

Innovation is an area we’ve pushed to accelerate and transform. Our portfolio previously consisted of just primed cedar texture siding and trim, but the market needed more from aesthetic, efficiency and functionality perspectives. In the past three years, we’ve launched a portfolio of smooth finish siding and trim to complement our original cedar texture products. We’ve also introduced color with our LP® SmartSide® ExpertFinish® Trim & Siding collection alongside other products, such as LP SmartSide Shakes and LP SmartSide Outside Corners, which deliver on the market’s need for efficiency and greater aesthetic options. LP SmartSide siding has always been known for its durability, but we really make a difference when we combine durability with aesthetics and efficiency.

Tell us about the recent research into the economic value of the product. Why was it important to quantify economic benefits of LP SmartSide products?

We promote the fact that LP SmartSide products are easier to work with and install, but many times when you’re talking to a building professional it’s not enough to make only those high-level claims. Builders and remodelers have to make business decisions, and they’ll want to know how their product choices effect the cost of the job they’re doing. 

We set out to quantify our economic claims by partnering with a trusted source in the building industry, RSMeans, so professionals didn’t have to take our word for it. Instead, we could offer their findings and stand behind them.

We considered how to help professionals gain the full economic impact of choosing one product versus another. What are the things we can measure and how do we make that happen?

How did the economic value study come to life?

We felt confident that LP SmartSide siding’s durability, 16-foot lengths and lighter weights would enable us to make the claim that our siding was faster to install, and that’s the claim we explored in the first round of testing on lap siding. In the second round we added trim and tested installation on a full set of products on a home, leveraging RSMeans again to design the study.

Ultimately, we found that LP SmartSide primed lap siding and trim installs 30% faster than primed fiber cement lap siding and trim. Primed LP SmartSide lap siding also produced 7% less jobsite waste than primed fiber cement lap siding. As we continue to add elements to our products that drive efficiency and produce less waste, our economic value proposition helps quantify that.

How do these insights apply to different building professionals?

We communicate our economic claims differently depending on our audiences. Installers resonate with the ability to install our product on four houses in the time it would take to install three with fiber cement, which may not apply as directly to a builder. Builders may resonate more with less waste, for example. We work to think about which message is right for each audience.

What are some of the top issues that professionals expect their siding to solve?

Durability is the number one factor for builders, contractors and homeowners when selecting siding. A homeowner wants durability because they want their siding to be low maintenance. A contractor wants a product that will stand up to the elements because they can stand behind it and stake their reputation on it. A builder looks at durability because if you don’t have one of the most durable siding products on the jobsite, it will slow you down. For all of our professionals, a close second is ease of installation.

What’s your vision for LP SmartSide Trim & Siding in the future?

We still have an opportunity to build out our portfolio to deliver more of the aesthetics that customers want. We offer many more options now, but we’re looking at what gaps we still need to fill. We’re also continuing to look at color. We launched ExpertFinish products with 16 colors, but we’re staying on top of trends to ensure we have the right products in our portfolio to match those.

We’re continuing to push on efficiency, considering what we can build into our products that make them even easier to install and save even more time 

We’ve also seen success beyond traditional re-sides. Shed is a big segment for LP SmartSide products. One opportunity involves looking at how that segment is evolving and changing, especially as a result of the pandemic. There’s an opportunity for LP to consider these broader building trends and ensure we can meet those needs.

Want to know more about LP SmartSide Trim & Siding, one of the most durable siding solutions on the market, and the benefits of LP SmartSide products? Visit us here for more information.

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