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Getting real value for your customers’ money

Brand loyalty can be a costly business. The latest research reveals that some of Britain’s best-loved brands – Cadbury, Marks & Spencer and Heinz, to name but a few – are fading fast in the popularity stakes and are being replaced by newcomers such as John Lewis, Dyson and Virgin Atlantic.

The rise of Aldi and Lidl in the supermarket sector also shows that consumers are no longer prepared to be hoodwinked by the bigger brands. Why pay high prices for products that can be bought for much less from brands perceived to be smaller and less well-known?

There’s a world of difference between supermarket brands and boiler brands, but it is only a matter of time before installers and householders begin to question why they should pay premium prices for boilers when there are alternatives to the more expensive brands.

Boilers from market-leading companies tend to be priced higher, and this leads many people into thinking that only these can provide the ultimate heating and hot water solution.

This is not always the case. You do not have to look far to see that there are some very well-built, price-competitive boilers available – complete with substantial warranties – that provide the same levels of reliability and performance as the more expensive premium brands.

To an installer’s eye, a peek at the boiler’s internal components will demonstrate the overall quality of the boiler, and let’s not forget that most quality components are sourced from the same leading suppliers regardless of brand. By shopping around for best-value boilers, you can save hundreds of pounds – a situation  certainly not to be sniffed at, as it could be the difference between winning and losing a job.

As well as securing a price-competitive deal for customers, such a saving can help installers secure the job in the first place as householders are always looking for the best deals around.

In practice, however, it is likely that a householder will accept the installer’s brand recommendation without question.

Given that installers tend to fall back on the boiler brand they are most familiar with or the manufacturer that spends the greatest sum on advertising or freebies, everyone is hoodwinked into thinking that a competitively-priced boiler cannot deliver the same performance.

Surely, if installers are truly working in their own best interests and in the best interest of their customers, it is no longer acceptable for them to blindly specify a brand without taking into account other brands that may deliver better performance for less.

It is time to break these outdated habits. Installers and specifiers should not be swayed by the high price tag of so called “premium” boilers.

They should be recommending more competitive models that deliver comparative performance, yet are still backed by genuine warranties. It is all about getting real value for money.

It is time to stop being hoodwinked by the bigger brands and think beyond the price tag. As well as price, consider the quality, efficiency, performance, service and warranty, and a whole host of other factors, and then do your homework.

Louis Pickersgill is managing director at Ravenheat

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