HARDWAR E & S ECU R I T Y
Although Peter Shilton was better
known as a goalkeeper than the
producer of profound quotes, he did
first say that ‘If you stand still there is
only one way to go, and that’s backwards’. The
reality of this has been witnessed many times
over the years in our industry.
You don’t have to dig too hard to find
examples of brands that managed to build
themselves into market leadership positions with
widely accepted products, held the position for
years, and then disappeared from the landscape.
What happened? Where did it all go wrong?
Brand success can often lead to acquisition,
new management, new culture and even new
debt, or it can lead to lethargic management with
a belief that they are now untouchable. We have
seen brand success even lead to tweaking cost
out of product with perpetual price increases.
On their own, these transitions do not result in
decline or ‘going backwards’, but what they often
lead to is the cessation of development, product
investment and imagination; taking the customer
for granted and expecting the market will be OK
with nothing new.
8, we brought our Sweet furniture range
to market. A high-spec, top-end offering with a
unique contemporary design ethos and an even
more unique direct to homeowner guarantee.
Having witnessed demand for the product
growing, we saw an appetite for 'better'.
Nobody ever wants to pay more, but
everybody wants to buy more and that’s what
Sweet delivered. It made headlines by smashing
the salt-spray test of which, as an industry, we
became far too accepting. A
hour test was
acceptable where ‘quality’ was defined with a
hour test – but still failing dismally in the
real world. The Sweet handle tested at over
So, there we go, we’ve made it, we have the
product we wanted to offer, let’s sit back and
wait for the market to buy it. No.
We knew we could still do more and give
the customers better. Within only two years
we moved Sweet forward even more. The
previous salt spray performance we bettered
again, only this time the standard was lifted
beyond a year. This in turn led to improving
the customer guarantee from
OK we could have done it before, but we don’t
apply guarantees as marketing headlines to help
sell product, we apply guarantees as a result of
The original super-contemporary designs
were loved by some and less so by others. We
could persevere and wait for hearts and minds
to change or we could listen to what the market
wanted and then deliver it. The new square-end
letterplate and two-part knocker stay true to the
Sweet design ethos, but are less of a leap from
what the market is used to seeing.
In isolation, these were some big changes,
but the eye-opener has been the new colour,
Rose Gold. Fashions come and go, they are an
expression of a particular time.
In the 8
’s gold furniture was de-rigueur only
to be de-throned by polished chrome over a few
Rose Gold is the new Gold and not only on
door furniture but in kitchens, light switches,
phones, glasses, lighting even coffee cups.
Homeware departments in department stores
bare testimony to this.
Sweet, like Ultion, is giving our customers
something to sell. Whether it be security, design,
guarantee or fashion, adding value gives people
more reason to buy.
Everyone has heard the term ‘new normal’
recently. The question nobody can yet answer
is whether the ‘new’ will be ‘better’ or just
‘different’. We believe there is a greater chance of
it being better by not standing still and hoping to
just pick up where we left off.
The new gold standard
Nick Dutton, CEO of Brisant-Secure, talks about his passion for
innovation when it comes to product design and performance.
“Sweet, like Ultion, is giving our customers
something to sell”