Brand value is something I think we can all appreciate. Deep down we all want to invest our money in a purchase with a respected brand. There comes a certain pride in knowing what you have bought has perceived value by everyone else. Luxury cars are a great example. When someone invests a lot of money in a premium brand, like Audi, Mercedes, or even higher up the chain Bentley, Ferrari etc, they don’t just invest in the product, but the experience and service surrounding that product too. It’s what helps command higher prices for those products and solidifies the brand. The same goes for windows and doors.
Our industry has come a long way in the last ten years. We have finally learned that cheap and cheerful is not the way to go if we’re to make serious cash in this industry. We have now seen very premium brands and companies in the PVC market pop up, such as Residence 9 and Evolution. Both have been created with the sole aim to produce and install the very best in timber alternative PVC. The two however have very different business models. Evolution by choice stick to roughly 115 approved installers across the UK. Residence 9 are a sysco which allows fabricators to produce the product to then sell on to installers, giving them a much wider reach.
Evolution therefore have kept their product far more exclusive, whereas Residence 9 have decided to go down the route of mass exposure. Both perfectly good business models, and both clearly seem to be working. But for me, if a brand is to be seen as exclusive and ultimately premium, exclusivity is key.
Going back to the car analogy, if Bentley or Ferrari chose to make their cars available to everyone, do you think they would have the same level of brand value and exclusivity? No. They would increase sales, but the margins made on those sales would drop significantly, and they would no longer be able to call their products exclusive and prestigious.
The risk I think with offering a product to everyone is from an installer’s point of view, there is more competition in their area. It becomes harder to sell something as unique to them if plenty of others are doing it. And in an industry where USPs are becoming harder and harder to come buy, product exclusivity is a big deal now.
Commanding better margins
Brand value is important not just from a customer aspritational perspective, but also on the ability of a window and door company to command better margins on their sales.
If a company is able to build a valued brand, if the customer believes in the brand of product they are buying into and have a genuine desire to invest their money into, the company selling that product is able to charge more for it. Whilst keeping it fair at the same time of course!
At the end of the day, we’re all in this game to make money. It’s great if we enjoy what we do, but enjoyment doesn’t pay the bills or grows the business. Building brand value and sales does though.
As always, all comments are welcome in the section below.
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The wanted to fabricate R9.
I told them that I didn’t think it was for them.
Now I see free door with 10 window offers.
We will however roll out more premium products very soon.
Hi Jason, are you implying that by Evolution simply limiting the number of approved installers to 115, customers will automatically consider it to be a premium product, better than Residence 9, and therefore willing to pay a higher price? I would be very interested to see a retail price comparison for similar style windows in both systems. We are all aware that, in general, todays customers carry out far more research and are therefore better informed – which I for one welcome. If someone is considering replacing their windows with either Evolution or Residence 9 they are almost certainly going… Read more »