Rheem Measures Homeowner and Contractor Demand for Sustainability

Rheem enlisted Hanover Research to design and field two quantitative studies on new sustainable products with a sample of homeowners and HVAC & plumbing contractors.

Challenge

For more than 90 years, Rheem has been a leading manufacturer of residential and commercial water heaters and boilers, as well as heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment. Continuing its legacy as a leader in heating, cooling, and water heating innovation, Rheem launched a sustainability initiative that would position itself as an industry leader in environmental practices.

Research Goals:

  • Determine the market demand for sustainable HVAC/water heater products from homeowners and contractors
  • Identify the aspects of sustainability that are the most important to each group
  • Reveal potential barriers to purchasing and selling sustainable HVAC/water heater products

Solution

Rheem enlisted Hanover Research to design and field two quantitative studies on a sample of homeowners and HVAC & plumbing contractors.

Methodology

Hanover designed two sequential quantitative online surveys deployed to HVAC/water heater contractors and homeowners. The surveys sought to understand:

  • The market demand for sustainable products,
  • The aspects of sustainability that are most important to each group, and
  • Which barriers does each group experience when selling or searching for sustainable products?

To understand the sustainability components most important to these groups, Hanover included a MaxDiff exercise in each survey to rank the appeal of potential sustainability initiative components rigorously.

As a result, Hanover recommended that Rheem market its products with eco-friendly terms that customers perceive positively. Hanover’s surveys provided key insights into the top factors that would influence each group to pursue sustainable, energy-efficient products and the barriers that may keep them from purchasing these products.

A survey bar graph showing the level of importance for homeowners and contractors when choosing an HVAC or water heater system. Most important to homeowners and contractors for both systems were 1. Price 2. Energy Efficiency 3. Reliability. These three outrank energy efficiency certifications, warranty, capacity, brand, smart tech, safety claims, and product availability.
Energy efficiency and reliability top importance for contractors, while price and utility bill reductions though lower energy usage are the top priority for homeowners.

“When planning our sustainability initiative, we needed to know what aspects of sustainability mattered most to our contractors and end-users, and what features they valued most in sustainable products, as that would ultimately inform our marketing strategy.”

Kathleen Payne
Research and Customer Insights Manager, Rheem.

Download a copy of “The Top Five Trends Disrupting B2C Business” report to prepare for the challenges and opportunities facing B2C businesses this year.

The Outcome: Rheem Launches a Sustainability Platform Based on Strategic Research

Informed by Hanover’s survey findings, Rheem launched a comprehensive sustainability platform, A Greater Degree of Good, as well as 2025 sustainability commitments, including:

  • Launch a line of heating, cooling, and water heating products that boast a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas footprint
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% and achieve zero waste to landfill in global manufacturing operations
  • Train 250,000 plumbers and contractors on sustainable products or sustainable installation and recycling best practices

50%

reduction in the greenhouse gas footprint with the launch of new heating, cooling, and water heating product lines

250,000

plumbers and contractors trained on sustainable products or sustainable installation and recycling best practices

Zero

waste to landfill in global manufacturing operations

“We wanted to take a holistic approach to understand consumer behavior, perceptions, and what words resonate with consumers and the trade when it comes to sustainability. Hanover’s survey insights helped inform our sustainability strategy: we saw that consumers and contractors really care about sustainability and value a manufacturer that prioritizes sustainability in their business decisions. Hanover brought out research techniques like MaxDiff to help create the best survey instrument for our needs.”

Kathleen Payne
Research and Customer Insights Manager

The Client

Rheem Manufacturing Company®

Industry

Heating, Cooling, Water Heating, and Commercial Refrigeration

Headquarters

Atlanta, GA

Website
Research Methodologies

Customer Demand Study, MaxDiff Analysis

Five Critical Steps of a Successful Market Analysis

Discover the five steps that help companies gain a better understanding of their market and customers—and generate better ROI and increased revenues.

Standing Out in a Niche Software Space

Find out how Betterworks was able to optimize its marketing messaging and demonstrate the value of its performance enablement software by partnering with Hanover Research.

Hanover assessed the product opportunities for Rheem through:

SURVEY INSIGHTS

QUANTITATIVE STUDIES

STRATEGIC ADVISING

Featured Insights

Find out how partnering with Hanover can help you prove the value of your products in your own market

Become a client

Access the best custom research to help hit your organization’s goals. Request your custom consult below and a member of our team will be in touch.

Have questions? Please visit our contact page.

Let us come to you!

Receive industry insights directly in your inbox

Our newsletters are packed with helpful tips, industry guides, best practices, case studies, and more. Enter your email address below to opt in: