By Jamie Werner
I am certainly welcoming the new year of 2018 with great optimism and high expectations for the paint protection film (PPF) industry. Consumer awareness is gaining momentum, quality of film is getting better and competitive products are abundant. It helps to know how the market is changing and ever shifting so that professionals in the industry can decide how they want to execute their game plan moving forward in the new year. Times have changed since the days of front fascia coverage and not having patterns to fit a car. Top-coated products are now easier to install and last a lot longer than they did before. Let’s dive into a few key areas that have seen major shifts from the last year to present day.
It’s an Option
The first thing that comes to mind as a major shift in the industry is coverage options. Less common now are the “bras,” which consisted of partial hood, partial fenders, side-view mirrors and front bumper. More consumers are opting for spending the extra money on a full front-end, which consists of the whole hood, both full fenders, front bumper and side-view mirrors. We’ve even seen an increase in popularity of much larger coverage such as the whole car. With this shift, some companies have been able to stay with that trend and draw patterns to keep up with that demand. This leads to the increase in occurrences of full cars being done. Yes, that’s the whole car being wrapped with PPF with prices ranging from $5,000-$8,000 and up, just for film. That doesn’t include any other upsells such as tint or coatings. This is great news for our industry as this helps break down the barriers of price and value. With more success in offering larger coverage throughout the industry, installers should really start strategizing on how they actually sell the product and what coverage options they should offer.
The next big shift has been a combination of pricing and material. Since most installers in the industry are using a top-coated product, prices that you can charge have been going up. Non top-coated films are considered old technology and have been phasing out of the market for the last five or six years based on advancements in technology for both urethane and top coats. They are easier to install, last longer and typically look better than their early counterparts. With that being said, top-coated products are expected to exhibit characteristics such as less texture, high gloss, self-correction (self-healing) and strong stain resistance. Because of these offerings and the amount of information available on the web, consumers are willing to spend the extra money for better quality. That’s not to say that there aren’t going to be markets that will still be hard to get higher prices, but when the market as a whole sees the average ticket price on PPF going up, that’s a positive thing for the industry.
The next one is a little bit more of a challenge. A lot of the industry has not yet adopted it, but those who have are doing much better than those who haven’t. This major shift is marketing. Those who have embraced the digital means of advertising have been seeing great success for their efforts. Social media, websites and even taking quality pictures along with low-budget videos provide professionals a way of reaching the consumer faster than the “classic” marketing tactics used before people knew what Search Engine Optimization
(SEO) was. Costs in taking on these marketing approaches are minimal since it mainly costs time and effort. You can do a lot of it with a smartphone. Phone cameras now have good megapixel capabilities and utilize apps to post, edit and capture content. It’s pretty hard to avoid this direction, but, sadly, it happens. It’s much easier now to show consumers what our product actually is with these visual aids.
I hope this insight on just a few of the changes in the market moving forward gives you hope that the industry is continuing to grow and adapt. If the industry is learning how to stay relevant, so should the rest of us. As always, exceed expectations every day!
Jamie Werner is the national sales manager and head trainer for PremiumShield.
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