As doormaker Apeer launches a new range of doors, co-branded with The Residence Collection, we take a closer look at what brought the two leading names together.
‘Brand’ is a word that is widely used in everyone’s daily lexicon and has long ceased to be the exclusive domain of ‘marketeers’.
Coca Cola was one of the earliest examples of a brand being promoted beyond it simply being a mark used to denote ownership, when it began to distinguish its fizzy, caramel-coloured drink from many others that also emerged at the time. The brand that it devised early on in the company’s history presented in a distinctive script typeface, remains almost identical 135 years later.
Few of us will have resisted the influence of brands. And it may not be that we wish to enjoy the kudos associated with something like Gucci or Louis Vuitton, merely that we trust the product or service to give us what we want. In other words, a strong brand will at least offer recognition that its potential will fulfil our expectations of it.
In May this year we saw the ’marriage’ of two well-known window and door industry brands, with both being active marketeers to homeowners. Apeer, recognised as an innovative manufacturer of high-quality composite doors and The Residence Collection, a producer of premium PVC-U timber alternative flush sash heritage-style windows, have aligned to present ‘The Residence Door Collection by Apeer’, in a clear and open association.
It is difficult to remember a precedent within the window and door industry, although within sportswear and fashion of course, it is commonplace: Nike and Michael Jordan’s association for example, has earned billions of dollars for both parties.
So, what is behind the conjoining of Apeer and The Residence Collection? Sarah Hitchings, sales and marketing director for The Residence Collection, says that it began with her company looking for a premium door to present to the company network of retailers: “Whilst The Residence Collection has offered a range of residential doors for some time, we were looking for a new door that offered a step up in performance and aesthetics, in anticipation of changes to regulations and consumer demands,” she explained.
“The homeowners that typically buy our windows, tend to be very discerning and likely to research the market and products very thoroughly before making buying choices. They are becoming increasingly aware of change. And they also want and are used to having, the best available.”
That Apeer turned up at the right time was purely coincidental, explained Sarah: “Andy Jones is someone with whom we have had a long association and he called to say that he had joined Apeer. I was of course aware of Apeer as a doormaker with a good name, and I mentioned that we were looking for a new door. What happened next was completely unexpected however, because the speed and quality of response from Asa [McGillian, Apeer’s managing director], was incredible. He and his team understood the brief, exceeded it and we had working prototypes within two months.”
Andy says that Asa recognised the opportunity and took on the challenge immediately: “When I reported the conversation with Sarah, Asa told me The Residence Collection was a product and name that he admired.
“The brief from Sarah and her team also allowed Asa to utilise a number of ambitions that he had harboured….essentially to produce the ultimate entrance door. The brief was new to Apeer, but the processes and technologies were not. Essentially, we were just looking for the right moment and opportunity, to put our ideas for the ultimate door, together.”
That opportunity is manifested by the brand values of each: in Apeer, Sarah immediately recognised a reputation as a high-quality British-based manufacturer, and more subliminally, that the brand also signals a commitment to innovation.
For Apeer, The Residence Collection has a clear reputation for being the instigator – and therefore innovator – of the now prolific flush sash niche sector, and one that has developed its values to stand alone as a premium brand.
Whilst unlikely to ever equate to a ‘Nike Air Jordan’, The Residence Door Collection by Apeer, despite essentially being a new marque, conveys the combined values of both companies.
With brand recognition being an early step in the sales process, the qualities of the products offered then quickly become clear, in this case a range of 20 door styles and everything aimed at premium buyers, including touches such as Ultion KeyTag-equipped, ‘Apple Find My’ trackable keys.
And then of course, there is the U value as low as 0.51 W/m2K, literally unbeatable in today’s market.
If the brand doesn’t catch customers’ eyes, then that figure certainly will.