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