A part of our interview series with our Managing Director, Ryan Green. This week, we’re on the topic of Clayton Glass’ class-leading, flagship brand – SMARTGLASS.
A company’s flagship brand is the core product or service that a company offers. The purpose of the brand is to be recognisable, to create a trust and affinity with its customers, and to embody the technical prowess, and specific set of values that a business is built on. Clayton Glass’ flagship brand is SMARTGLASS.
We set about developing a specification that was, and still is, technically the best available for performance on the market.Ryan Green
These days, there are many SMARTGLASS products fitted in a whole host of beautiful conservatories and orangeries all over the UK. The story of how SMARTGLASS came to be is an interesting one, coinciding with Ryan’s purchase of the business back in the mid-noughties. “When I bought Clayton Glass in 2005, I wanted to develop a high-quality conservatory roof glass product to complement the glass we did for windows and doors.” Says Ryan. “So, we set about developing a specification that was, and still is, technically the best available for performance on the market.” Ryan goes on to tell me about how this was easier said than done, but was ultimately a highly fruitful endeavour for Clayton Glass.
SMARTGLASS – THE PRODUCT
Turning attention to the specifics of the products themselves, Ryan explains how SMARTGLASS has been through a number of iterations in its lifetime. “It started as a basic roof unit, but with an easy-clean coating” says Ryan. “Nowadays, it is more advanced, being truly self-cleaning and having the lowest solar gain of any product on the market!” Ryan tells me about how SMARTGLASS has had to be adapted to changes in the industry over the years, emphasizing that, when the product was initially developed, polycarbonate was the go-to material for conservatory roof glass. “Shortly after that however, glass was back in!” Says Ryan, “and more recently we have a number of different hybrid solutions, so we’ve had to adapt the product accordingly.”
The name ‘SMARTGLASS’ came from driving continuously around a roundabout in France trying to get my children to fall asleep!Ryan Green
Ryan goes on to tell me about the rise of patio doors, including sliding and bifolding alternatives, saying that he spotted an opportunity to expand the capabilities of the SMARTGLASS brand. “The SMARTGLASS range now has solutions developed for each of these applications – with the same principle still being applied – that’s to offer the best technical specification on the market for the application, coupled with the Clayton service experience.” Says Ryan.
Perhaps the most obscure element of the SMARTGLASS story is how the name of the product came to be in the first place. “The name SMARTGLASS came from driving continuously around a roundabout in France trying to get my children to fall asleep!” Ryan tells me, “it was a eureka moment that my wife had!” Ryan goes on to mention the fact that Microsoft later used the name SMARTGLASS for one of their products.