Contractors have increased their power to influence product specification, according to a report by Barbour Index.

The report, Influencing Product Decisions, found that 82% of contractors believed they were more involved in the choice of products than was the case three years ago.

The contractors surveyed added that they attempted to alter about two-thirds of named brands specified by architects and M&E contractors, and were successful in getting specifications changed in 70% of cases.

The contractors’ responses were backed by a number of consultants surveyed. Only 18% of architects surveyed said they expected the original brand they had specified to be used.

Barbour marketing manager Renita Shwili said: “The implications for product manufacturers are clear. Getting a product message across to original specifiers is not enough; influence needs to be exerted all the way along the specification chain, where issues such as availability, ease of installation and technical assistance all come into play alongside those of pure product aesthetics and performance.”

The report was based on 5000 responses from construction product specifiers and contractors.