Clearview National March 2018 - Issue 196 - Page 45

PROUD SPONSOR OF ALL DOORS their imagination with something that they thought was way beyond their means, to then show that in fact it is possible, such as with our Lumi products. Either way, we now know that the secret is to put the products out there, not to pre-judge customers’ tastes – and especially not their bank balances.” Although anecdotal evidence, says Asa – Apeer did not set out to complete formal research – when homeowners understand that they have choices when choosing composite doors they will explore the options available to them and this has manifested itself with the online Doorbuilder programme that allows no less than 26,042 combinations of finish, colour, glass and hardware. “The first thing homeowners are drawn to are our higher end ranges, Apeer 70 and Modo ranges and from there, once they discover the various options that allow them to create a door of their choice they tend to get carried away, and then perhaps distil their design into something closer to their original budget, but more than they would have spent originally. “Interestingly, homeowners tend to assume that essentials such as security and weather- proofing and insulation are a given these days, and they focus very much on aesthetics,” says Asa. “They understand that they can create a disproportionate impact on the kerb appeal of their home by choosing a distinctive entrance to their homes. Colours chosen by our customers are increasingly bold, something that we can accommodate by offering non- ALLDOORS standard RAL colours for painted finishes, as well as a standard range of foils. “Homeowners these days are well informed and quickly learn that we can also offer non-standard combinations, such as Rosewood outside, Burgundy inside; or Oak outside, Light grey inside for example. These combinations aren’t standard in the industry, but we can do it as it is all done in our own factory.” Custom glass has long been an option for homeowners to choose for their residential doors and Apeer’s in-house studio is no stranger to some strange and unusual requests. Being in Northern Ireland, where the blockbuster TV series Game of Thrones is filmed, it was appropriate for Apeer to honour a request for a complex design that reflected the show. “It takes longer of course because the customer has to review and approve the design but they are happy to wait because it’s so special to them,” explains Asa. We wondered what percentage of orders are now custom? “It’s still a small part of our business but growing,” says Asa, “and we find the ability to offer bespoke jobs and to complete orders other door companies are unable to manufacture, does help us sell more of our other ranges into the same installer. Installers who have developed this customising service as part of their unique offer locally, gives them the edge over competitors that just want to sell standard products. And in recent months we have seen the demand for customised doors rise from a couple a month to more than six a week.” A key decision for the company that came from its experiences from its exhibition appearances was to relax the assumption its contemporary Lumi doors would not appeal to relatively conservative composite door buyers: “Despite it [Lumi] being radically different from conventional residential doors we now offer them alongside to allow people the option, one that they frequently choose. Homeowners tell us that they want to stand out from their neighbours and when they see Lumi doors on our show stands, especially the red Coloro design, they are very happy that such a high-end product is accessible to them and isn’t as expensive as they may think. “This proved to us that we really cannot anticipate what people will buy; we must present all the options, to create trust in our brand of course but after that to simply show our customers what is available to them. And we are unusual in having both contemporary and relatively traditional doors in our offer, produced in the same factory. We therefore work hard to communicate to buyers that we have the commitment, the passion and the ability to deliver great products to them whatever they ch oose, and less so to try and decide what they are likely to buy from us.” www.apeer.co.uk C L E A RV I E W-U K . C O M » M AR 2018 » 45