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TOUGH CUSTOMERS DICTATE NEW GROUND RULES FOR HOME IMPROVEMENT; HOME PRODUCTS INDUSTRY RESPONDS TO CONSUMERS

 LAS VEGAS, March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The recession may be over, but consumers' buying psyche -- particularly when it comes to big-ticket items like houses, home furnishings and appliances -- remains guarded and demanding.
 To satisfy today's tough customers, home building products manufacturers who attended February's National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Show are examining the way they manufacture, market and service their products, said Ray Kennedy, president of Masco Building Products, the parent of such well-known consumer products as Delta faucets and Merillat cabinets.
 "Home buyers and builders have more choices than ever in products for the home," Kennedy said. "They ask questions and want information. If what you offer doesn't measure up, buyers will quickly go elsewhere."
 Masco has identified five consumer trends that are affecting home builders and manufacturers:
 -- RELIABILITY: Buyers are paying more attention to how products are made and how long (and strongly) the manufacturer stands behind them. Buyers respond favorably to homes featuring brand name products they know and trust. Guarantees and warranties have become required reading.
 -- AVAILABILITY: Everyone wants products in stock, or at least on time. The good news is, more efficient manufacturing, warehousing and delivery systems are cutting costly delays at construction sites.
 -- INDIVIDUALITY: In everything from cabinet doors to kitchen sinks, the choices are multiplying, allowing customers the opportunity to create homes that are uniquely theirs. Mixing is in; matching is out.
 -- BELIEVABILITY: Straightforward and understandable product information -- not marketing hype -- satisfies buyers looking to judge the relationship between cost and value.
 -- RESPONSIBILITY: Environmentally friendly home products do more with less. Consumers are making energy- and water-conserving designs household standards. Manufacturers are reducing unnecessary packaging to cut post-consumer waste.
 Masco Corporation of Taylor is a family of consumer products serving the home building, home improvements and home furnishings markets.
 -0- 3/4/93
 /CONTACT: Charlene Kull of Masco Corporation, 313-274-7400/
 (MAS)


CO: Masco Building Products; Masco Corporation ST: Michigan IN: HOU CST SU:

SM -- NYHFNS7 -- 2741 03/04/93 07:07 EST
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Date:Mar 4, 1993
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