How We Win Back Markets
and Drive New Demand

Ten years ago, leaders from the concrete masonry industry imagined what the world could look like if producers worked together to elevate the perception and drive demand for block producers. They looked at what other industries had done to market, promote and innovate new technologies and the return on investment it brought back to producers in the form of new demand and new markets.
In this March 2011 photo, industry leaders meet in Las Vegas, NV to explore pursuing a Concrete Masonry Checkoff program.

After nearly a decade of work, the vision of those producers is become a reality. The masonry industry is in the final steps of establishing a national checkoff. The draft Order to implement a concrete masonry checkoff is live on the Federal Register. The registration and voting process is being finalized for public comment and producers are likely to be voting before the end of this year.

What does that mean for the future of concrete masonry? With a national checkoff, the masonry industry can work together to win back market share lost to softwood, steel and other materials, build new demand for block products, research and innovate new technologies and products, and promote masonry the product of choice for safe and resilient communities.

“Checkoff programs implemented through the US Department of Agriculture have long benefitted both producers and consumers by providing broad promotion, research and education channels at no added cost to taxpayers."

"Industry-based checkoff programs implemented through the U.S. Department of Commerce are long overdue,” said Bob Sullivan, CfiFOAM Inc. “The CMU Checkoff is a win-win for consumers and concrete masonry industry members alike.”

“I think of the CMU Checkoff as a way to do things we couldn’t do ourselves,” said Bob Sullivan. “With a national checkoff promoting masonry as the superior product for residential and commercial construction, we can focus on marketing our individual products. It helps shorten the sales cycle by positioning block over softwood, steel or any other competitive products.”

Over the last 18 months, producers from every geography, size and background have met and brainstormed what kind of programs could be funded by a national checkoff. And how a national checkoff could leverage work and resources done at the state and regional level, as well as work funded by industry partners.

Programs like:

  • A national campaign promoting masonry as a resilient, safe, economic and aesthetic choice in residential and commercial building.
  • Targeted outreach to influence the next generation of architects, designers and engineers on the benefits, ease and resiliency of masonry.
  • Research to advance the usability and efficiency of masonry products in residential, multi-family and commercial building.
  • Marketing efforts to increase the visibility and use of masonry products across the construction value chain.
“I have always believed that a mandatory national checkoff is the cowbell that will bring the kind of consistent funding we need to promote our industry."

"Without a mandatory checkoff, we can’t count on funding levels from year to year, making it hard to invest in long-term efforts and in turn, realize long-term benefits. Short bursts of activities will not move us forward the way some of our competitors have done with their national checkoff,” said Major Ogilivie, Ready Mix USA and chair, CMU Checkoff Campaign and. Working together as producers to advance masonry is how we begin to win back and grow market share that will benefit every one of us.”