The syscos and fabricators of the window and door industry have worked very hard in the past few years to build up the value of their brands, to give added value not only to themselves, but to their customers and even home owners in some cases. There has also been quite a few new launches of products and companies. All of this has resulted in a lot of very active brands operating in the industry right now. Some old and established, some new and innovative. So given the amount of choice on the brand front, is it becoming harder for companies to keep the loyalty of their customers?
Choice, choice, and more choice
Installers right now face a barrage of new products and new brands all competing for their time, attention and business. There are a lot of very high quality new products out there, and in fairness our industry has never looked so good.
A symptom of this wave of innovation is a strain on loyalty to relationships with suppliers that have quite often existed for many, many years. It’s not the fault of the installer. They have to do what is best for their business at the end of the day. So is it becoming harder for syscos and fabricators to keep their customers looking inwards and loyal to them and their brand?
Personally I’d say so. If you’re an installer and your fabricator hasn’t done anything for the past few years, it is to be expected that you start looking around at the competition to see if they can do a product, provide a brand for you to build your business on.
Brand loyalty importance
Whether you believe brand loyalty is becoming a harder and harder trait to find, the fact of the matter is that is matters. A lot.
Take a look at social media over the past few years, especially Twitter. It is full of installers tweeting pictures of they have recently completed, along with mentions of their suppliers who made and delivered the products they fitted. That is brand loyalty in action and it is priceless.
It’s priceless because tweets like that show in public what that installer think of their suppliers. People are naturally quick to complain, but any feedback in public that is positive is hugely valuable to the suppliers mentioned. It is also priceless because if there are any installers out there sitting on the fence and wondering who to move to, these sorts of tweets and other forms of feedback serve as a brilliant advert. Better yet, its free!
Solidor, Atlas, John Fredericks, Residence 9 are just a few examples of companies who are often mentioned by their installers, showing off their work, using their products.
So whilst brand loyalty might be a more fluid thing than it was a few years ago, those who manage to find it need to make the very most of it. Keep the relationships active, profitable and friendly. If you’re a fabricator and you’re not working on your brand or your products, don’t be surprised when your installer start to look elsewhere.