The architectural trend for increased use of glass in building facades has driven the innovation of new glazing systems which can facilitate aesthetic ambitions, whilst at the same time accommodating today’s efficient construction design and management processes.
Partners was tasked with helping leading façade contractor Glassolutions differentiate itself further in this competitive market with the launch of the first new curtain walling system in the UK in more than a decade.
The introduction of VS-1, a system which supports large expanses of glass through vertical mullions only to give the effect of a ‘floating’ façade, required a package of support to target architects primarily. The aim was to educate architects about the system’s capabilities with a view to VS-1 being specified for future building projects.
We started by assisting with the development of the marketing proposition, helping to identify the system’s key differentiators and shaping up messages for all marketing tactics. Once agreed we then went on to develop a VS-1 logo. As the system had its origins in the US, the brief was to differentiate the UK system sufficiently and ensure it was clearly a Glassolutions and Saint-Gobain group solution.
The result was to develop a brand with Glassolutions’ corporate red and grey and to prominently incorporate the phrase ‘by Glassolutions Saint-Gobain’. We also created the tagline ‘curtain walling redefined’ to accurately convey that VS-1 allows architects to think differently about façade design and build.
This logo was applied to various materials starting with a primary CGI image – it became central to the launch marketing and sales approach as it accurately represented the VS-1 system’s simplicity.
We helped the VS-1 marketing manager create a key digital asset in the form of an interactive pdf which could be used online and offline to demonstrate the many intricate features of the system. This was used by the Glassolutions sales managers in face to face meetings with architects.
Taking more than 30 technical illustrations, Partners applied the agreed colour scheme and supplemented the technical pages with photos from buildings constructed using the VS-1 system in its native USA. The result was an extremely useful asset that was crucial in helping to convey the system’s advantages and new approach to façade construction.
The next stage was to assist with a launch event targeting a small target group of architects. This event was held at the Saint-Gobain Innovation Centre in central London and was arranged to give architects an introduction to VS-1. It featured presentations by the system’s co-inventor and members of Glassolutions’ technical team, providing a discussion and networking forum as well as an educational seminar.
Partners produced invitations – email and postal – and various visual elements for the venue. These included vinyl graphics for the floor, windows and the VS-1 demo unit. We also sourced a gift for guests to take away and this included a custom designed thank you card. All this support helped to contribute to a very successful event that was an important step in VS-1’s evolution.
We worked closely with the Glassolutions marketing team throughout to ensure we could adapt quickly to changing requirements. The event was attended by most of those invited – around 30 – which exceeded expectations. The highly targeted launch activities made some very early inroads and within the first 12 months VS-1 was already installed as part of a £3m contract in the completed Believe in Better Building at the Sky broadcasting complex in west London, as well as being specified for projects in Cheshire and elsewhere in London.
More recently, our work made an important contribution to Glassolutions securing a VS-1 specification for the stunning new Hiscox Building in York (pictured), a new customer experience centre for the insurance company housing around 500 staff, plus its biggest VS-1 contract to date in a forthcoming new development in Greenwich.
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