With the holidays behind us, we can look forward to the arrival of spring in a few short months. With it comes winter clean-up chores and preparation for spring planting of turf and ornamentals. It’s also a key buying time for outdoor power equipment. With many consumers interested in sustainable, fuel-alternative solutions and with the rise of stricter state and local regulations on emissions and noise, it’s an ideal time for equipment manufacturers to encourage homeowners to make the switch.

G&S recently surveyed nearly 300 homeowners who maintain their lawns and landscapes and gathered their thoughts and preferences on battery-powered equipment. These insights are key for communicators and marketers as they are building their strategies for spring sales.

Battery Longevity Tops the List of Preferred Features. Long battery life is by far the single most important feature when homeowners are considering battery-powered lawn equipment, with 72% of respondents saying it was key to their purchasing consideration. Powerful performance and low maintenance also ranked highly at 55% and 54% respectively. These results are consistent with the preferences of professional landscapers who have been hesitant to change since the advent of battery-powered equipment, but understandably their needs and expectations are much higher than homeowners. However, the needs of the professional market will drive innovation and technology advancements that will also be beneficial to consumers. Recently at the 2024 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the Bobcat S7X all-electric skid-steer loader was awarded the 2024 Innovation Award for its power with zero emissions. Manufacturer exhibitors at CES are notoriously the pioneers for shaping technology and trends, so there is no doubt we will see battery-powered performance drastically improve for professionals and consumers.

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Consumer Preferences Highlight Opportunity for Brand Loyalty. Interchangeability of the battery with other tools was strong with 41% of respondents, but the manufacturer brand was shown not to be a key driver of preference among the majority of respondents. Of those who already own battery-powered lawn equipment, 16% said they did not have a preferred brand at all. The battery-powered equipment market has become quickly saturated and fragmented with consumer preference following suit. This means brands and manufacturers have ample room to strengthen their brand awareness and key brand differentiators to drive greater loyalty.

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Integrated Communications Are Essential. Consumer preferences for finding information are quite varied. Without a doubt, a strong online presence is essential for any brand, with 70% of respondents saying online reviews were their top source for researching battery-powered equipment. Following that preference, manufacturer websites and home improvement stores were tied at 48%, followed by friends and family at 37%. This means the brand cannot rely on just electronic communications over traditional communications or any single communications tactic. Our data reinforces the need for a connected story, across sales, marketing and communications to influence consideration. Gone are the days when media relations and digital communications like web and social media can operate in different departments within the same company. Full integration is essential for developing the strongest, most effective strategy for reaching consumers. 

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As communicators and marketers aim to grow sales of battery-powered equipment with consumers and overcome market fragmentation, brand communications must be united and consistent across all available platforms. In these important moments of change and innovation, don’t miss the opportunity to power your communication strategies alongside the technology.

Note: Survey results are based on a G&S Snap Poll of 278 U.S. homeowners with lawns and landscapes to maintain on November 29, 2023.

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