11 March 2013 | 0 Comments
It was no surprise to Ultraframe when it polled 1000 home owners to understand the market opportunity for its latest innovation, Loggia, that climate control would centre at the heart of the conservatory challenge.
The research, which was carried out in conjunction with Homebuilding.co.uk revealed findings that would shape the marketing and product innovation strategy for Ultraframe and the launch of Loggia. Ultraframe marketing manager Mark Hanson takes us through the headline findings. “The research was carried out to consolidate our thinking about the marketing strategy to underpin the launch of Loggia.
“The principle outcome of the research is the sporadic levels of usage across standard conservatories. Less than 20% of the audience we polled used their conservatory for more than 2 hours per day. And that usage is spread across a number of activities – kids nipping in and out to play with a toy, a parent passing through the conservatory as a thoroughfare to the garden or as a room to entertain friends – what we learned from this research is that very few of our home owners actually sit down and enjoy their space in the same way they would their lounge or kitchen. One could easily argue that conservatories by their definition are not intended to be a full time living space, but what we are more interested in is understanding how we can increase the usability and desirability of a glazed extension or conservatory.”
“When we looked more closely at the research we realised that usage is driven by one primary factor – climate control. The majority of home owners with a conservatory cited ‘climate control’ – or lack of it – as the number one reason why they do not use their conservatory more. When we looked beyond the actual time spent in a conservatory and focused on how this time is split throughout the day, the peaks in usage are around mid morning and early evening. Outside of these times, usage drops off significantly.”
The research also polled home owners without a home extension or conservatory. Interestingly this category also cited climate control as one of the top three attributes to consider when purchasing or thinking about extending their home, with over 65% of this category particularly concerned about the heating and cooling attributes of a conservatory. This research was invaluable in supporting Ultraframe in developing its market positioning for Loggia.
Mark continues: “Unlike seven years ago, when conservatory sales were at their peak, the ‘public’ were less concerned about the cost issues associated to heating and cooling, energy was significantly cheaper than it is today, disposable income was much higher and having a room for occasional use was deemed to be highly appropriate. Today, the market is entirely different. Fuel price is at a record high, disposable income is at a record low so it’s vital that we develop extension solutions that not only add value to a property but also enable the home owner to use their space as they would other parts of the home.”
While the Loggia with its robust column structure and Conservaglass roof system achieves superior u values easily equivalent to a brick built extension, the Loggia can also be specified to include integrated radiant heaters which sit neatly in the corner columns. Stylish and efficient, Ultraframe continues to ensure that Loggia has broad appeal to all home owners in the market for a glazed extension. Mark continues: “the feedback on the styling of Loggia is incredibly positive and while it ticks all the aesthetic boxes it’s clear from our research that we need to clearly articulate the benefits of year-round usability to potential buyers. Heating, and conversely, cooling will continue to be one of the primary decisions in choosing a glazed extension solution so it’s critical that we continue to invest in technology that stimulates demand for glazed systems and conservatories that can be used all year round.”
The Loggia Corner Radiator