In 1991, despite a sagging economy and local indifference, ready mix producer Francon Lafarge of Montreal, Canada, began marketing a specialty concrete significantly more expensive than regular concrete. The product was a lightweight concrete made with tiny polystyrene beads instead of conventional coarse aggregates. By mid-1992, sales of the lightweight concrete climbed dramatically thanks to a new construction technique developed by the ready mix company to expand the product's use beyond previous applications.
The technique enables townhouse builders to use poured light-weight concrete rather than concrete block to construct the fire-resistant and sound-dampening partition walls required in attached homes. This construction method saves a great amount of time when compared to the traditional method of concrete block construction.
Extra effort and funds were required from the beginning to market this product successfully. The lightweight concrete is roughly three times as expensive as regular concrete. Francon Lafarge's marketing approach is rather unconventional--instead of selling concrete, they sell a construction method.