Earning your loyalty

Choosing one brand over another is an important decision for every tradesperson – because that choice will reflect on the quality of your business.
As consumers, we hear a lot about ‘brands’ – top brands, big name brands, brand leaders etc. – but how often do we think about the implications on our businesses of being associated with a certain brand? Quality, of course, is not always about price. Just because you pay a premium price for a basin or a shower, doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a premium outcome.
This is where the legwork comes in. Savvy plumbers will always shop around, uncover the pros and cons, compare manufacturers, and then take an informed decision about which brand he or she wants to be associated with. First rule of thumb – be discerning about which brand you choose to be loyal to. “Brand loyalty is not something that can be taken for granted,” said iflo Marketing Director Nigel Nelms.
“We are competing in a highly competitive marketplace, so for us manufacturing better quality products is the starting point – without it we simply can’t expect our customers to be loyal.” Nigel says that while quality and price certainly provide the ‘trigger’ for plumbers to try iflo in the first instance, brand loyalty is often reliant on other things that a manufacturer can provide over and above the products themselves – this is what will  keep plumbers coming back time and time again.
“We’re confident that we provide great products that are extensively tested and manufactured to last, which is why they carry iflo’s marketleading quality guarantee,” said Nigel.
“But in addition to this, we offer technical and sales support, wide-spread product availability and competitive prices. City Plumbing and Travis Perkins, where iflo is exclusively sold, gives our customers access to the most knowledgeable staff in the industry – and many of the branches have showrooms too, which are there specifically for our customers to take or refer their customers to see and discuss the products.
“It’s all these things that we think keep people coming back to our brand. And for us, that’s the evidence of brand loyalty we’re looking for.”
Bathroom installers who do give their loyalty to a brand, and iflo in particular, are doing so for a number of reasons. Nigel points to iflo’s product guarantees as a big reason customers become loyal to the brand.
iflo offers a whole range of guarantees – everything from a lifetime guarantee on shower enclosures, to 25 years on baths and sanitaryware, 10 years on shower trays, six years on mixer showers, and two years on accessories, power showers, electric showers, electric towel rails and toilet seats.
“With guarantees like these in place, we feel confident in being able to say to our customers: Better Bathrooms. Guaranteed. These aren’t just empty slogans, they are honest commitments to quality,” said Nigel.
“A plumber who chooses our brand over one of our competitors can see straight away that iflo has total confidence in the products it manufactures. A guarantee is the firm assurance they need to be able to demonstrate to their customers that these are quality products, fully supported, and competitively priced.”
iflo also encourages brand loyalty by supporting plumbing professionals in terms of specialist bathroom knowledge. The staff at City Plumbing and Travis Perkins can prepare designs and quotes, leaving our plumber customers to get on with the installation – they are really there as an extension to our customers business.
“It’s all about meaningful ‘added value’ and this gives our customers every reason to stick with the iflo brand,” said Nigel. “We also listen to our trade customers – they tell us what they like, and what they don’t – and we act accordingly. By focusing on their views and the needs of their customers, we constantly get better and this engenders brand loyalty and builds a business that’s relevant to those we serve.