MIWD Using Latest Technologies to Launch New Line
As it appeared in Window & Door on June 6th 2011:
With a social media campaign already started, the Western division of MI Windows & Doors is planning to launch its new MI EnergyCore window line in July with a special dealer event at its Prescott, Ariz., operations. Attendees will be presented with an iPad loaded with a custom app to emphasize MI's mobile strategy designed to help dealers sell the new line.
"Our window dealers and their customers desire a good, better, best offering," states Mike DeSoto, president of MI's Western division. "MIWD strives to be best-in-class in each of these categories. Energy Core met our test for the best. The products are designed to be significantly more energy efficient, stronger, more secure and quieter than any complete family of products on the market."
For dealers, the line provides a simple, cost-effective family of products to meet the next phase of ENERGY STAR requirements and to qualify for the Department of Energy’s High Performance Windows Program, DeSoto adds. "Most high performance solutions offered today involve complicated exceptions. For example, some styles meet the grade while other styles or configurations do not. Energy Core is designed to meet the grade in any style or any configuration. Therefore, the dealers do not need to sacrifice style or aesthetic upgrades to gain performance."
"We're going to the next level with this line," says Patrick Schutte, business development manager for MI's Western division. "We believe this is a unique, premium product in the West that gives us and our dealers a competitive advantage." The new MI iPad app give dealers the tools they need to educate window buyers about the unique product line and demonstrate its superior performance, he continues.
Some of the content for the MI EnergyCore app–including several videos–for the line are already available for viewing on a Facebook page developed by MI, Schutte points out. He also emphasizes that roll out behind the new product is more than the iPad app, but a complete social media and mobile strategy.
"We want to embrace and leverage social media channels and all they bring to the customer experience: ease of use, rich media, and a more casual way to communicate with our dealers and window buyers," agrees DeSoto."For example, on our Facebook page, we’ve posted pictures of our factory team in Prescott Valley. This helps our customers see the real people that make our windows and doors and how they strive to make the best windows possible with care and attention."
The company has also launched a Twitter feed and YouTube channels for the new line, he adds.
DeSoto calls the mobile strategy a key differentiator as well. "Our new content-driven web site at www.mienergycore.com [to be launched in July] will automatically detect if a mobile user is accessing it and will enable Smartphone users, iPhone and Android to start, to view the rich content on our site in a format that they can digest easily and quickly," he notes.
Window buyers will be able to take advantage of the technology also. "When a customer is at a dealer’s showroom and wants to learn more about the window they are looking at, they can use their QR code or Microsoft Tag reader on their phone to scan the affixed tag and it will bring them to the mobile web content about the product," DeSoto explains.
In addition to the selling tools incorporated into the new app and website, MI is also working on development of quoting and ordering tools for dealers to use with iPads and other mobile devices, Schutte reports. "Our vision is that you wouldn't need to fire up a laptop." By giving iPads to its dealers at the launch event, MI wants to "remove any barriers" for dealers to begin taking advantage of these new tools, he concludes.
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