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by Casey Neeley
November 2nd, 2012

A Change in Direction

As my first SEMA Show wraps up today, I’ve noticed some trends in the industry. After walking the show floor and speaking to a variety of vendors, I noticed three market movements that I think will influence the direction of window film.

My first prediction is a bold one. After watching the many wrap demos on the show floor and seeing the ever-increasing popularity of paint protection film (PPF) I predict that the industry will start to see a movement toward full-car vinyl wraps over paint. The vinyl wraps in solid colors offer consumers another option to both protect the original paint job on the car as well as the option to significantly change the look of the vehicle. Consumers can buy a more affordable vehicle that may not have the best looking exterior and transform the vehicle into the color and look they want. Marketing applications for this type of install are endless as it can offer a far more cost-effective option for customers and gives shops the chance to upsell by offering a tint install with the wrap.

The next big trend I’ve noticed is the importance of our East Coast industry. In light of Hurricane Sandy, many of the show exhibitors have agreed while this was an excellent show with many new innovative products, the East Coast attendees were sorely missed. Some companies noted that as a result foot-traffic had declined 30 to 40 percent. I think the reason there were initially conflicting reports on show attendance—many said at first attendance was excellent and most said later on that attendance was slow—is attributed to the varied markets for each individual exhibitor. The exhibitors who saw an increase in international sales seemed to be the ones most satisfied with attendance.

The final trend I’ve noticed is the increase in international buyers. After speaking with Joe Tesmer at Scorpion Window Films, he noted that his international sales have increased here at the show. At our own booth, we saw many international buyers who stopped by to ask for information on the American market and how they can get in contact with some of the American manufacturers. While the international market varies drastically from the American market, it’s a good sign for manufacturers that these international dealers are turning to American-made products. As I said above, companies looking to expand in the international markets seemed to be the exhibitors most satisfied with this year’s result.

Factoring in these new trends, I think that despite the mixed reviews on attendance, this year’s SEMA Show went in a new direction for the window film industry. As the products become even more innovative and the applications for these films continue to grow, the industry I think the industry is going to see more crossover applications such as more practical, consumer-friendly vehicle wraps, an appreciation of East Coast sales and an increase in international buyers.

One comment
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  1. Hi Casey, Thank you for the two newscast.

    I enjoyed watching them and got the feeling I have participated in the show, although I am watching from my home in South Afica.

    A clear message that comes through from everybody you spoke to is;

    ”Everyone wants the edge” looking for new products ,new ideas to stay ahead of the game and their competition.

    Innovation is the”KEY” for your magazine to stay focused on,in my opinion. Find out from your readers, creative ways to advertize,different ways to market and to get the products across to the comsumer. Also clever ways to convince the consumers how efficient the products are, making the sale easy to close and how long is the expected life of different film constructions.

    As a publisher of a number of magazines, I can suggest you get more participation from your loyal readers and find out which is the most user friendly manufacturing company with best easy to install long lasting products, in the form of a questionnare competition. Your reader have the” KEY” to inproving the content of the Window Film Magazine and making it the magazine the industry you can be really proud of. Enlightening knowledge, to all in the industry is what you want to offer.

    You want your readers running to their post boxes ,excited to get their hand on your product, because it will help them improve their businesses and put more money in theirr pockets This is the bottom line.
    The above preposed content would interest me very much, as a forty year old player in the window film industry and also improve my opinion on the value of your magazine. Leon Levy Klingshield South Africa http://www.klingshield.co.za

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