… A Growing Trend
Trends come and go
… some become the norm while many are left to one side, forgotten. But one trend that seems to be here to stay; the ability of a business to provide eco products that no only perform well, but do so while having a small impact on the environment.
In the Bathroom industry, a lesser impact on the environment translates into water-savings across taps, WCs and showers, and technologies are being introduced to save water and deliver an experience.
A recent study by MTW Research, which was mentioned in the November issue of Essential Kitchen & Bathroom Business (EKBB) magazine found that, ‘based on data from 130 manufacturers and retailers in the UK bathroom market […] sales of water-saving products are on the rise, boosted by housebuilding, domestic refurbishment and a continued emphasis on water efficiency’.
Marketing departments across the industry have experienced a renewed interest in eco-friendly products, where low impact in the environment becomes a feature of the product advertised, raising its profile. This provides business a new challenge, where they can prove that their products can be more efficient while maintaining or even increasing their performance.
Everyday examples of the rise of eco products can be found in the car industry where big brands like BMW or Tesla are investing large sums in R&D to provide more efficient, eco-friendly engines that out-perform other brands, proving once more that eco-friendly doesn’t necessarily mean a compromise in performance.
The Pura Bathrooms Group launched its own eco marketing campaign featuring the low environmental impact of our products, click here to watch the video
As a business, do we think that there is currently a strong demand for eco-friendly products?
In the November Edition of EKBB magazine our Head of Marketing, Stuart Newbury, explained that demand is definitely rising. Obviously builders and developers have to follow building regulations, so there is a solid demand for eco sanitaryware, brassware and bath products. But, consumers are becoming more savvy about water saving, plus many are becoming quite focused where their water has been metered. From the Pura Bathrooms Group perspective we are expecting an increase demand for eco bathroom products and to deal with this we are bringing more and more ‘eco’ variants into our ranges.
Can products be eco-friendly and still look stylish?
Definitely! Eco-friendly does not have to mean expensive or ugly! We try to minimise the cost of additional eco-technology without compromising the look and feel of a product. Its about good engineering and thoughtful designs. An example of design and efficient engineering is the WRAS approved Imex sanitaryware, featuring a half-flush of only 2.6 litres while also performing above industry standards.
Imex demo video showing its water-saving features, without compromising on performance
Helping retailers sell more eco products
Selling eco is often something that bathroom retailers and showroom staff find more complex to explain than non eco solutions for a couple of reasons. Primarily, because there are so many variations across manufacturers products and getting the specific facts and figures right can be tricky as the last thing they want to do is mislead the customer. And often also because customers associate eco with a less than satisfying user experience, which nowadays is generally untrue if you stock top brands. So, understandably, showroom staff can be unsure how to approach this tricky subject!
Pura Bathrooms Group display in Ware Bathroom Centre, Hertfordshire (UK). We suggest taking a ‘probing’ approach and ask the customer a series of questions which can help lead them confidently into making an eco product choice.
What if the customer is on a water meter?
Customers on water meters may be more water conscious than those customers that aren’t and therefore more receptive to eco solutions. Even if they are not on a water meter, by asking this question you might find out whether they are eco aware or not.
Investigating the size and age of the customer’s family or those that will be using the product would be a good starting point: a family with teenagers may wish to limit the amount of water that can be used. This can be done by using flow regulators within taps and showers or even lowering the depth fill level of the bath (there are many baths on the market, such as the Puracast Wave eco-bath), that allow consumers choose the depth that suits them.
With Wave you can select a fill capacity ranging from 170 litres to an eco-friendly 80 litres.
Not only is this friendlier on the environment by reducing water wastage, but it makes the hot water go further within the household too – so there is the added benefit of saving on the heating and hot water bill.
Also, investigate the customer’s bathing habits and choose products to suit – are they predominantly bathers or showerers – or both? If their preference is showering, plumb for an air mix shower such as Design or Urban dual function heads from the Flova brassware range. These will deliver water saving of around 20% and will ensure the customer has a really enjoyable shower without affecting shower performance or experience.
Finally, we would look to encourage the customer’s understanding of how using less water saves money in their pocket, and if there were products which offered this without compromising performance or experience, who wouldn’t want to save money too?
Look out for the European Water Label
This label has been created with the intention of informing consumers on the consumption of water of their products including showers, taps and toilets with the label showing the maximum volume of water that the product will use.
The Pura Bathrooms group is committed to providing efficient, well designed and eco-friendly products and as part of its continued growth incorporates in all its brands a comprehensive range of durable, high quality bathroom products that perform above the industry standards. Read more on our growth in our November’s blog.