Colour is a key feature when selling doors, according to a recent survey conducted by Hurst. We talk to Sales Director Mark Atkinson about how this affects the company’s operations and marketing support.

Colour has become a key battleground for the supply and installation of entrance doors, according to a customer survey conducted by Hurst at the start of 2024.

Four in five of Hurst customers told the door supplier that they had seen an increase in demand from homeowners and door specifiers for bespoke colours. The same survey also found that the most important factor when selling an entrance door is its appearance and overall design.

“We’ve seen the demand for a wide colour choice increase for many years now – for well over a decade,” Hurst’s Sales Director Mark Atkinson says. “But what has changed recently is the increased demand for bespoke colours.

“This really affects the dynamic from a sales point of view. Up until now, the industry has been geared towards providing a wide colour choice, not necessarily any colour choice. So, from an operational point of view we are moving away from the ability to simply stock and supply entrance doors in a variety of colours, to responding quickly to each individual colour order.”

The appearance of a door is currently seen as the most important factor when selling a door. When customers were asked to rank the key features, they responded:

  • Appearance/design (62%)
  • Price (17%)
  • Security (9%)
  • Energy efficiency (8%)
  • Sustainability (3%)

“In fact, 94% of our respondents put the door’s appearance in their top three factors when selling entrance doors,” Mark says. “And the fact that only 17% of respondents only cite price as the key selling point suggests that homeowners are willing to pay for that choice.”

To meet the increased homeowner demand for bespoke colours, Hurst opened a new state-of-the-art paint shop at its site in Hull in February 2024.

This new £200 million facility will also give the leading door supplier greater control over the manufacturing process, while minimising error and reducing lead times in the process.

“This is an exciting development for us,” Sales Director Mark Atkinson says. “Our new paint shop will give us greater control over product development, including new colours, that will allow homeowners to make bold statements with their entrance doors.

Hurst’s increased colour capability dovetails neatly with its investment in its marketing support, including its new augmented reality (AR) sales tool, which fully integrates with a new composite door brochure and professionally created sales videos.

The door styles featured in the new Hurst AR Composite Sales Tool include options drawn from across its Classic, Cottage, and Contemporary Collections. And Hurst’s new aluminium-inspired Designer composite collection taps into the demand for the aluminium aesthetic but without the heavy price tag.

“The spike in demand for bespoke colours probably comes from a new generation of home buyers,” Mark says. “They aren’t tied to old ideas, and are receptive to new ways of engaging with home improvement.

“Significantly, many people are now researching products and engaging with online tools and channels, either before speaking to an installer or during the buying process, and this has helped shape our marketing support package,” Mark says.

The new AR sales tool allows homeowners to superimpose a selection of Hurst’s most popular composite door styles against their property using their mobile phone or tablet.

Opened in their browser, homeowners can choose from the 12 popular composite door styles, which are featured in lifestyle images throughout the new brochure, viewing them as a fully rotatable and zoomable 360° 3D rendered image which they can view in their space in real-time and also walk up to, to see the detail of the grain and glass. They can then superimpose the door against their property on the screen of their device.

“We are pioneering new ideas all the time,” Mark concludes. “And our investment in modern marketing tools, together with our new paint shop, will allow us to lead the way with brand new products and services for our customers.”

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