Taking Church Furniture to Market: Part One – Manufacturer Direct

Save Your Church Money Blog

A manufacturer begins producing church furnishings. They’ve developed a new line of church furniture that will be an attractive product for churches across the country. Now they have a decision to make, how will they take their new church furnishing line to market? Our manufacturer has three choices for how they’ll market their new church furniture line. We’ll take a look at each of their three choices with our next few articles.

Our church furnishing manufacturer can decide they’re going to be “Manufacturer Direct”.  In other words, churches across the country can call the manufacturer, learn about their products, purchase their products, and take delivery directly from the manufacturer of their products.  Sounds simple doesn’t it?  It also would seem to be the most cost-efficient for the church.  But is it?  Over the years I have come to believe it’s not.  Here’s why:

Our church furnishing manufacturer wishes to have their products purchased by churches across the country.  For those churches to purchase their products, they must first know about their products.  And this effort translates into huge marketing costs.  One church chair  manufacturer I work with that sells directly to churches has told me that 50% of the cost of each of their chairs goes to recover their marketing/advertising expenses.  They have their in-house sales force to compensate.  Their promotional materials cost major dollars.  Advertising expenses are substantial.  And the more expenses the manufacturer has in marketing their chairs, the more they’re forced to charge churches for their chairs, or to cut the quality of their chairs.  Neither option is to the advantage of churches.

As I stated earlier, I used to believe that buying direct was the most cost-efficient for churches.  I no longer do!  In my next article I’ll discuss the advantages of a dealer network for church furnishing manufacturers and their church customers.  Looking forward to it!