Published On: Mon, Jun 9th, 2014

Reinvigorating the image of conservatories

Ultraframe’s Commercial Director Joe Martoccia and new Marketing Director Steve McIntyre talk about the latest evolution of Loggia

PRESTIGE_DSC0235 rc DAY-sUltraframe is well on track in delivering the redefinition of the conservatory promised at the launch of Loggia some 18 months ago; the latest phase of the product’s evolution is more to do with market positioning as it is to do with innovation. Conservatories Active recently met up with Commercial Director Joe Martoccia and new Marketing Director, Steve McIntyre to learn more about the very latest thinking. Joe Martoccia kicks off the conversation: “We are currently experiencing some excellent growth with year-on-year sales 15% ahead of last year and the first quarter of 2014 tracking similar growth on 2013. For sure, we have seen an upturn from summer 2013, but we believe that the majority of the growth has come from the core of our network partners, large and small, achieving higher average order values by promoting our range of added value products such as LivinRoom, cornice and of course Loggia. But we believe that there is lots more to come by the adoption and promotion of Loggia throughout our network.

“We always intended for Loggia to be a flexible, affordable glazed extension system, designed to meet a range of price points, style options and personalised features unique to each home owner. But it seems that our dealers quickly positioned Loggia as a high-end, big-ticket item, which of course it can be. I guess we aided this perception with very classy and expensive looking imagery. Our latest thinking is more to do with helping our retailers understand the benefits of Loggia and then deliver a powerful, well presented sales pitch.” Steve McIntyre adds: “Another key benefit of Loggia which has potentially been overlooked is the huge improvement in thermal performance the system offers over and above a standard conservatory. Our consumer research points to poor thermal control and limited year-round usage as the biggest dissatisfaction in conservatory ownership. We believe that we have addressed this with Loggia, but, from what I have seen so far, this whole area remains a taboo among conservatory sales people. Our job is to develop the right sales tools, promotion and positioning which will enable our retail sales people to win business.”

Ultraframe has identified three key business streams in which it plans to support its dealer network to win more business, with Loggia spearheading the campaign. (1). Reinvigorate the image of conservatories – with better design and improved thermal performance at affordable prices; (2). Attack the replacement conservatory market – with more robust, beautiful, thermally excellent glazed extensions packed with features; (3). Gain a share of the extension market – with Building Regulations compliant Loggia extensions featuring either glazed or solid realROOF.

Steve explains: “What we’ve developed is a classic retail good, better, best Loggia product hierarchy backed up with some exciting new sales tools to help reinforce the key messaging and aiding the journey to up-sell. Good is what we are calling Loggia Prestige, Better will be Loggia Premium – in effect the Loggia product our dealers are marketing right now – and Best the Loggia Ultimate, a glazed or solid extension. We believe this new product hierarchy will make it easier for retailers to provide a solution that works in each of the market segments we are targeting. At the same time, we have also introduced some very clever and innovative new product additions.”

Loggia Prestige is the first step in an upgrade from a standard conservatory. The Prestige additions are provided in a competitively priced pack delivering an easy explainable upgrade for the retailer and excellent value for money for the homeowner making the investment in the marginal uplift in price an easy sell. The Prestige pack contains two Loggia columns (300mm), providing solidity and improved thermal performance, a new configurable, insulating & electrical housing system lighting product, Livinlight which allows either pendent lighting or downlighters to be fixed to the ridge but also adding an extra thermal barrier and feeling of solidity. There’s a new insulating shelf pelmet aiding the feeling of solidity and externally a new Prestige cornice neatly finishing off the external appearance. Joe adds: “From a thermal improvement perspective, the additions of Loggia columns, the Livinlight and the Prestige shelf pelmet assist in insulating the three key areas of heat loss in a conservatory – the corners, the ridge and the eaves. Loggia is without question the game changer. What we’ve come to realise is that we need to support out network partners in translating the benefits of Loggia to a much broader spectrum of customer.”