January 19, 2011 | Vol 6, Num 3
W&D Weekly, Delivering the Fenestration Industry to Your Desktop
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The Clad Ultimate Glider
from Marvin Windows



The Latest...

Builders' Show Heads Back to Florida

Orlando, Fla.–A fairly upbeat mood prevailed at last week's International Builders' Show, despite evidence that there's still plenty of caution about housing and the economy...read more

Power Expands with New Headquarters

Power Home Remodeling Group, formerly known as Power Windows & Siding, has relocated its headquarters to the Wharf at Rivertown in Chester...read more

Remodeling Market Poised for Growth

In the wake of the worst downturn in recent history, the U.S. home improvement industry is poised for growth, according to a new report...read more

Roto to Distribute Mighton Product

Mighton Products Ltd. has selected Roto Frank of America to become the exclusive North American distributor for its Angel Ventlock...read more

Pella and MarketSharp Extend Relationship
MarketSharp Software reports that Pella Corp. has renewed membership within the MarketSharp Strategic Alliance Program for a second year...read more

The Outside View...

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The Talk...

How does your company differentiate its product lines?
We have always emphasized performance and we still do.
We talk about performance, but style and design options play an increasingly important role.
We offer high performance, but emphasis has always been on style and design over performance numbers

If poll form doesn't work in your email, Click Here.

John Swanson, editor & associate publisher of Window & Door

Window and door manufacturers touted R-5 efficiency, HVHZ impact resistance and a host of other performance attributes at last week's International Builders' Show. Walking the floor and talking to exhibitors, however, I sensed an increasing emphasis on design issues. In talking to exhibitors, styles and colors seemed to trump Energy Star. I think I heard more people say things like "streamlined" and "sleek" more than I did "low maintenance."

I don't want to imply that all those performance features are decreasing in importance.  What I suspect might be happening, however, is fewer companies see performance numbers as a good way to differentiate themselves and/or their products.  Even claims about green and sustainability in various booths seemed less prevalant than at previous shows. Perhaps, again, it is because more companies see meeting such demands as part of the ante to compete, rather than a selling point in themselves.

Our poll question this week is designed to test my theory.  Is your company talking more about style and design? Do you see better potential for differentiating your company?  I'd like you to vote, but more importantly, let me hear from you. Email me or post a comment and let me know if the balance has changed in your product development and/or marketing efforts.



Continuing Conversations...

"Are the Phones Dead?"

Most respondents have seen a fall off in sales and point to the end of the tax credits..read more

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