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GGP August 2017

74 H A R D W A R E & S E C U R I T Y The Key to success Sarah Gyde, head of marketing at Mila, talks to GGPabout the launch of the company’s latest catalogue and why some customers still prefer to be able to get their hands on a paper Mila has just published the latest version of our iconic Key product catalogue – The Key 8 – and copies will be available to send out to customers over the coming weeks. We think this is our best ever guide to the Mila range. We’ve kept everything which customers have told us that they love about our Key catalogue – the detailed product specifications, photos, accreditations and guarantee information – but we’ve completely updated the design to make it more usable and accessible than ever. The Key catalogue, so called because it’s ‘the key to quality hardware’, has been part of Mila’s sales and marketing package for more than 20 years; and it’s always been hugely valued by customers. Some people might be questioning why though, in this digital age, we’re still investing such a substantial sum in printing and mailing thousands of copies of what is essentially a 400+ page product bible. After all, we all view everything online now, don’t we? Well, the feedback we get from the customers about the Key catalogue, and recent figures about the enduring popularity of paperback books vs e-readers, would definitely suggest otherwise. Our customers tell us that there is something reassuringly familiar about our catalogue. It’s tactile and real and, at A5 size, it is something they can keep neatly on their desk, on their work bench or even in the glove box of their van to look up at any time. They can mark up the catalogue with their own notes, fold down the corners of their favourite pages and put it down and pick up the next day; and they still love the ease and practicality of that. Just like paperback books, which have seen a 7% rise in sales in the UK this year, compared to a 17% fall in the sales of e-readers, there’s widespread recognition that there is still something magical about holding a printed book in your hand rather than just looking at a screen. I was interested to learn recently, for instance, that sales of e-readers worldwide peaked in 2011 and have fallen steadily since then as traditional books have lured people back. Obviously, we recognise that digital has become the way to go for many, so The Key 8 catalogue will also be available on the website as an all singing, all dancing PDF; and, as always, customers can order everything it contains online, on the “there’s widespread recognition that there is still something magical about holding a printed book in your hand rather than just phone or in person with our sales team. We think, for most customers, it represents the best of both worlds. When you look inside Key 8, it’s got everything you could need. Each of the product sections is colour coded for easy referencing – with the espags and shootbolts pages in green, window handles pages in orange and friction hinges pages in red, for example. Every product featured is illustrated with a close-up photo and a list of its features and benefits. There’s also a technical drawing alongside each and a list of part numbers for easy ordering. Where relevant, there are photos of the finishes available and at a glance icons showing what guarantee the product comes with and the accreditations it holds. We think we’ve thought of everything, with selection guides at the start of each section so that customers can see which is the right version of the product for any particular application, and even references to the relevant sections within the Building Regs so that they can see which product meets the appropriate legislation. While more than 50% of the catalogue is devoted to Mila products in line with the proportion of our sales which are now own branded, there is also similarly detailed information on the third party products we supply from other leading brands such as Siegenia and Yale. We’ve designed the Key 8 so that it is much more than a product directory. It’s packed with useful information such as maintenance guidelines for all our products, a guide to our guarantee icons and what they mean, and even our T&Cs in plain English. There’s also things like a postcode finder which shows customers exactly which postcodes in the UK are classified as coastal or high pollution areas, and where we recommend the use of our Supa stainless hardware products in Grade 316. version of its ‘product bible’. www.ggpmag.com August 2017 looking at a screen.” Sarah Gyde


GGP August 2017
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