Abstract

In the past, the wood products industry has often struggled with effectively marketing products to the public. With the increase of globalization and wood substitutions, the industry may need new ways to attract customers. Targeting younger customers who have recently joined the buyer's market may be a way to increase the industry's market share and customer base. A study was conducted to understand the millennial generation's (individuals born from 1980 to 2000) knowledge and perception of wood products. In 2018, an online survey was distributed to over 1,500 millennial-aged individuals and 1,479 usable survey responses were returned. Results indicate that respondents have a favorable perception of wood products and that there is potential to change uncertain or negative perceptions by providing informative facts about wood products. Approximately 71 percent of millennials indicated paper and pulp to be the most popular wood product, followed by lumber (51%) Responses also showed that 84 percent of respondents perceived wood as beautiful and 54 percent indicated it appealed to their sense of style. In terms of strength and durability, 46 percent of the respondents did not perceive wood to be as strong as steel. They were unaware of cross-laminated timber (74%) and its structural benefits and did not feel it was a safe product to use in tall buildings (54%). Millennial females and all millennials ages 18–20 held particularly stronger attitudes about wood products. The information gained from this research can be valuable when developing strategies to promote products and attract new customers.

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