IN YOUR FACE
Composite door maker and producer of the much–vaunted Lumi window and door system, Apeer is committed to taking its products to the people. Glass Times meets the people behind Apeer to find out why they put themselves through a gruelling 13 exhibitions a year.
As the industry girds its loins to prepare for three long and inevitably arduous days at this year’s FIT Show, save a moment to consider those hardy men and women at Ballymena–based composite door manufacturer and originator of the Lumi ‘edge–to–edge glazing’ window and door system: FIT is just one of thirteen shows they will complete throughout the UK and Ireland and it will be the fifth so far this year!
Linda Tomb is Apeer’s Marketing Manager and the soul behind the organisation of this extraordinary calendar: “Yes, of course it is a lot of hard work but we have been doing this for three years now; if we are not exactly used to it we are now familiar with the toll it can take on us,” shares Linda. “But of course we now also know that it works for us, which is why we continue.”
Most of the events are in pursuit of homeowner customers and follow the philosophy that the best way of communicating the features and benefits of a product and the company and people behind them is to actually put them ‘in the hands’ of people, so to speak: “Like most predominantly glass window and door products we find it especially difficult to communicate the aesthetics of Lumi,” explains Linda. “Lumi is unique; there is nothing else like it. And for people to understand that we have shown that however much we try and explain the features and benefits, when they see, touch and try Lumi windows and doors for themselves, they get it immediately. “
Amongst the visitors of the consumer shows that Apeer work are many devout home improvers with a large number of them actively looking for those special elements for their properties. Asa McGillian, Apeer’s Managing Director and the main thrust behind Lumi, reports that their filters, both human and systematic, are becoming ever more effective: “When we first began these shows starting with Grand Designs in 2014, we threw our arms open to everyone and fully believed that every customer that told us they loved our windows – which seemed to be most of those that looked at them – would place an order the next week, which of course they didn’t.
“We also learned not to judge a book by its cover, that enquiries from architects are like gems but which can also take months to bear fruition, and that homeowners making choices for their own, often complex projects, can be the most likely to buy. We treat every prospect equally of course; it’s our expectation that has changed.”
The consumer homes shows are used to generate leads for Lumi’s installer network, the bones of which were found through the FIT Show. 2017 will be the third the company has attended: “The FIT Show delivered what has become the Lumi Installer Network,” explained Linda. “And we are still looking for committed and passionate installers for that. We also have a number of initiatives to show visitors, including new composite door designs which we manufacture in our own factory almost entirely using British components.”
Apeer is also introducing a lead generation system for those of its customers that don’t wish to attend at least one exhibition per month, and its Doorbuilder pricing and ordering system has been updated to include all of the company’s products.
Visitors may also be intrigued to learn why Apeer door sales are up more than 35% this year. Face to face at the FIT Show might be the ideal way to find out.