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Exploring Target Markets: ThermalWood Canada’s Strategic Focus

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Written by CanadianSME

In a recent interview with CanadianSME, Robert Lennon, the experienced co-owner and President of ThermalWood Canada, provided insights into his remarkable journey spanning over three decades in the industry. He shed light on ThermalWood Canada’s specific target markets, both present and future, showcasing their strategic focus. Robert emphasized the numerous advantages of thermally modified woods over traditional woods, highlighting the benefits it offers to customers. As the company continues to grow, he identified the most potential for expanding ThermalWood Canada’s market presence. In such a competitive market, ThermalWood Canada sets itself apart through its unique differentiators. Robert also shared current strategies for marketing their products to the public and revealed upcoming marketing initiatives planned for the future.

Robert Lennon is the esteemed co-owner and President of ThermalWood Canada, a thriving manufacturing company where he also serves as the International Marketing and Sales Director. In addition to this, Robert heads a strategic planning and management consulting firm, demonstrating his multifaceted business acumen.

Holding more than three decades of industrial experience, Robert is a seasoned professional with an engineering background, significantly contributing to New Brunswick’s mining industry. His inherent capacity for training and motivating staff is widely recognized.

Robert excels as a skillful negotiator, boasting robust marketing and business development capabilities. He is an analytical strategist known for exceptional problem-solving, planning, and management skills. His superior command over English and French amplifies his effective written and verbal communication.

When did you start your career? How will you describe your journey as a seasoned professional with more than three decades of industrial experience?

I graduated as a Civil Eng from UNB in 1979. Started my career in the pulp and paper industry and after a period of two years was offered an opportunity to move to the mining industry where I worked for 32 years in various positions. All my managerial experience gained over those years prepared me for my life as an entrepreneur. ThermalWood Canada started its operation in May 2008. In the corporate world, I was very fortunate to have been groomed to be a General Manager throughout my career. This grooming allowed me to take on with confidence the role of

Can you please elaborate on the specific target markets ThermalWood Canada is currently focusing on? Are there any new markets you plan to tap into in the future?

We have 5 main revenue streams

What would you identify as the main advantages of thermally modified woods over traditional woods? How does this translate to benefits for your customers?

Thermally modified wood is a process that is 100% green, we only use heat and steam to transform the wood. The wood becomes very stable in a very highly humid environment. The process increases the resistance to rot without chemicals. The process takes domestic wood and makes it look like exotics, therefore curving the appetite for cutting trees in the rainforest. This allows us to take North American hardwood species of wood and move them to other exterior application markets that they were never able to do in the past. One example of that is using white ash as a decking a siding product.

As ThermalWood Canada continues to grow, where do you see the most potential for your market presence to expand?

Traditional markets like decking and siding are obvious growth sectors. But none traditional smaller nice markets like the musical instruments, outdoor furniture, butcher block countertops, alternatives to exotic woods, and the list goes on.

With competition always present, where is ThermalWood Canada’s main competition coming from? How does ThermalWood Canada differentiate itself in such a competitive market?

The biggest competition comes from Europe. Many of the North American producers were in the wood business already and saw this technology as an opportunity to offer something different to their already existing customers. But in the last 5+ years, we have seen an influx of European producers. Our biggest competitive advantage is that we keep the wood and manufacturing in North America. Our competition purchases wood here and ships it overseas for processing and shipping it back to distributors in North America. We have very little distribution so people are purchasing directly from the manufacturer in Canada and we are proud to be Canadians.

What are your current strategies for marketing ThermalWood Canada’s products to the public? Are there any new marketing initiatives that you plan to roll out?

We are building our brand by telling others’ stories. We have a Podcast that we post once a week that showcases the talent in the Province of New Brunswick. We love our province and we have so much to offer that we want to let everyone know what we have. We have too many people that think and believe we are the Have Nots of Canada where it is the complete opposite. Our strategy is to flood the social media platforms with stories that are produced by ThermalWood Canada. We can use the analogy of a baseball diamond.

With respect to consumer awareness, how do you plan to educate the public about the advantages of thermally modified wood and ThermalWood Canada’s offerings?

We have been educating Architects since 2008 when we started. We have delivered lunch and learns to well over 1000 architects over the years from all over the world. During COVID we put out a virtual series of educational videos that we posted on our YouTube channel. We also created a virtual tour of our facility with 110 information targets throughout the tour. This tour is available by visiting our website. We have converted a 24 ft enclosed construction trailer to a showroom that can be brought directly to the potential client’s workplace or job site. We are presently using our ThermalWood Canada page on Linked In to deliver pieces of technical information to the consumer.