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The value of a brand

With an influx of budget products from hitherto unknown names hitting the UK electrical accessories market, Marie Parry, group marketing director at Scolmore, outlines the value of investing in a trusted brand.

According to AMA Research, the UK wiring accessories market is expected to be worth £1.8bn by the end of 2018, while the market for home automation products, including intelligent wiring accessories, is described as a rapidly growing market that has benefitted from the spread of wireless and app based technologies, and is forecast to nearly double in value by 2021.

The opportunities that this growth and expansion promises can be evidenced in the influx of products onto the market in recent years, from unknown names from outside the market. As a sector, we are only too familiar with the pressures of tight margins and the need to complete projects on time, to shorter programmes and within restricted budgets. Within these constraints, the appeal of a lower priced product may make sense in the short term, but can contractors afford to put themselves in a position where a product may fail to meet the requirements for which it has been specified, resulting in time lost, delays on site and additional expenditure on labour?

The growth in online sales of electrical products is also having an impact. The market for online distribution of electrical products was estimated to be worth £1.3 billion in 2017 according to a report by AMA Research, having grown by almost 300% since 2012.   Whilst the largest distribution channels for the sales of electrical products are direct from manufacturers and via electrical wholesalers, in terms of online sales, the most significant distributors are ‘internet only’ distributors, with around 42% of the market. One of the key drivers for growth of the online channel in recent years has been the widening of product ranges by large internet retailers (such as Amazon and Ebay) where access to lesser known brands is more likely.

When you procure products from an established brand with a trusted reputation, the purchase doesn’t start and end at the point when the products are ordered and received. You should be embarking on a whole process or journey that, as well delivering the tangible products, allows you to take advantage of the considerable knowledge and expertise that a trustworthy manufacturer has built up over many years of successful trading and collaborative partnerships.

Partnership benefits

Working with a reputable brand will allow access to an unrivalled range of products, services, facilities and expertise, helping customers keep up to date with the very latest products, technologies and regulation changes. A dedicated technical support team and customer service department will be trained to provide the right level of support whether it is product-related or more general advice seeking.

Such is the pace of development in this industry - with more smart systems becoming available - it can prove difficult to keep up with the raft of new products and solutions that are coming on board. It is a manufacturer’s responsibility to provide customers with the opportunity to be educated on how these new products work.

As a group, we have always put great emphasis on the importance of training and development as part of our service to customers. Having invested time and money to harness the latest technologies to develop cutting-edge products, we want to ensure that our customers are given every opportunity to understand how the products work and how they can be utilised to best advantage on a project. We offer a range of training opportunities designed to keep customers up to date with the latest products, technologies and legislation, including a course aimed at contractors and wholesalers looking to expand their knowledge of home automation.

With contractors under increasing pressure to complete projects within tight deadlines and budgets, it is more important than ever that they have the security of knowing the brands they are working with are rigorously tested, fully compliant, will help deliver faster installation and are backed up with reliable customer support service.


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