A shift from grey to green

We asked Balls2 Marketing’s managing director, Andy Ball, what the top three issues the glazing industry will face in 2022. In his response, he explains how taking a fresh look at your marketing will be crucial to get ahead.

Everyone is in the same boat in the glazing industry. Whether it’s raw materials or finished products, we have seen product delays, staff shortages and price increases across the supply chain. In 2022 the focus will shift to the environment.

There are extra challenges with new legislation coming in, an increased focus on green credentials and a shift in spending for top customers from the grey pound to couples in their 30s and 40s.

New Building Regulations

Revised Building Regulations for Part L in both new build and retrofit sectors will drive the need for more thermally efficient glazing. It will mean an upgrade for some products to improve performance levels and we can already see issues for some doors complying to the lower 1.4 W/m²K.

In recent times we’ve seen delays on Building Regulations coming into effect but focusing now on the thermal efficiency of your products means you can talk about forthcoming changes with confidence in your marketing and stay ahead of the game.

Environmental credentials

It’s not just legislation that’s driving environmental concerns, there is also a shifting attitude to buying greener and more energy efficient products. PVC-U windows need to be carefully positioned as a positive choice for the environment so they don’t get caught up in the single use plastic bottle and bag discussion.

With much of the industry still focused on PVC-U, we need to create the argument and have a united voice to promote the plus points for reducing carbon by highlighting better inherent energy efficiency and multiple recyclability of PVC-U windows. Also, we don’t talk enough about our huge window and door manufacturing industry which has a powerful reduction on carbon footprint on transportation alone.

A shift from grey to coupledom

There’s been a switch in who’s spending too. According to the latest information from Houzz, those aged 25-39 have upped the average spend on renovation from £10,000 per annum to a whopping £17,000. This now surpasses older spenders in both Gen Xers (aged 40-54) and Boomers (aged 55-74), which has reduced from £15,000 to £14,000.

There’s been a change for homeowner couples in their 30s and 40s, who are now choosing homes they intend to stay in for the foreseeable future, rather than moving every few years.

Staying in their homes for longer means a different type of purchase. Rather than looking at cheaper products, they know what they like and are willing to spend more to get the designs they want. Given the option, they are choosing products with green credentials, especially where reductions in future energy bills can be seen.

Energy inflation is likely to make this even more relevant in 2022. The huge price hikes in gas and electricity are already affecting many households, and the importance of thermal efficiency of windows and doors is likely to go further up the list of needs.

The industry has the answer

I have spoken to several PVC-U fabricators across the UK this month and they all know the arguments for promoting PVC-U as sustainable. The issue is that the clear messages aren’t filtering down to installers or homeowners.

We need to focus on the argument. After all, there’s so much to talk about when it comes to the environment, whether it’s complete products or components, UK manufacturing or whole of life carbon reduction.

Demonstrating your commitment to being greener and including green in your marketing messages will attract the customers you’re looking for in 2022.