The most prestigious support – for the most professional installers
March 5, 2019
VEKA Group’s Head of Partner Programmes Karen Lund discusses why she believes Independent Network still represents the very pinnacle of installer support in the industry after 23 years.
Independent Network was established (as Network VEKA) more than two decades years ago, but rather than resting on its laurels after many successes, the organisation continues to invest in refining and adapting its offering to support members with everything they need in such a competitive marketplace.
The Network was formed 23 years ago to highlight and support those installers across the UK who were committed to exceptional quality and workmanship in the double glazing industry. Against a background of pushy salespeople and shoddy workmanship, we wanted to help the ‘good guys’ stand out and make sure that homeowners knew who to trust.
While our ethos remains exactly the same today as it was in 1996, we have ever-more sophisticated tools at our fingertips and the organisation continues to adapt to a changing industry, adding more and more benefits into the sales and marketing mix on behalf of our members.
Our experience means we are able to offer the industry’s most innovative (and valuable) installer support package; continuing to highlight to homeowners the countless benefits of choosing an Independent Network member.
We’ve recently invested in a pioneering new website which I believe sets a new standard for the industry. Even though the previous one was just three years old, we had identified areas that could be improved and – like our members – we are not satisfied with anything less than perfect quality.
Lots of thought and a huge amount of hard work has gone into the new site, which is packed with innovative features and interactive areas which should increase web traffic and raise the profile of Independent Network and its membership across the country.
The digital landscape changes daily and we know that consumers expect more from websites than simply an online brochure. That’s why the site has been designed to ‘make the most’ of the web experience by being visual and interactive in a way that couldn’t be achieved by any other means.
The website is an ‘open all hours’ resource for people to learn about the benefits of Independent Network and about VEKA Group products, at their convenience, before using the simple ‘Find an Installer’ form to be put in touch with their trusted and vetted, local company.
Creating a website that will continually evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of homeowners and of our member companies is yet another example of how Independent Network leads the industry in installer support.
The organisation is proud to invest in a wealth of marketing support for the Network. We know that keeping marketing up to date can be a costly and time-consuming task for busy, independent companies, which is why our marketing portal is so popular. It hosts a wealth of bespoke Independent Network items including stationery, brochures, showroom point of sale, van livery, workwear and more, at a fraction of the cost of doing it yourself. You can also download and personalise certificates, accreditations and health and safety documents.
One of the key benefits to membership is being part of a larger group of independent companies and sharing in the strength of a national brand, allowing our members to complete on a level playing field with other firms of all sizes, whether national or local.
Independent Network means members can retain their personal touch and local identity with customers, but with the well known ‘stamp of approval’ and insurance-backed guarantee of a national name, which offers consumers more reassurance and peace of mind. For example, Independent Network invests in securing space in major consumer titles that might not otherwise be attainable for independent, local companies. The organisation is currently collaborating with House Beautiful and Sainsbury’s Magazines on a campaign that combines full page adverts, online advertising and more. These titles are some of the UK’s favourites, with a combined average monthly circulation of 594,994, not to mention an impressive online following.
The benefits of becoming an Independent Network member are countless and, alongside extensive marketing support, include; training on anything and everything you might need for your business, customer finance options, arbitration for homeowner disputes, a shared customer satisfaction rating of 98.6% and access to a network of affiliate supply partners to help you buy better. I’ve even spoken to members that have more than recouped their membership fee in just one order of discounted products from Independent Network Affiliates.
Independent Network was the first organisation of its kind in the industry, and I absolutely believe that it continues to offer the finest package of installer support available today. In fact, we recently had one member company leave Independent Network to ‘see what else was out there’ and then rejoin within six months!
But don’t take my word for it, you can hear direct from some of our members by visiting vekauk.com/independent-network/testimonial-videos/ or you can call 0800 800080 to request a brochure and find out more about joining Independent Network.