Volume 15, Issue 5 - September/October 2011

AsktheExpert
By Donna Wells

Private Information

Here we are again, heading down the stretch of the busy season and starting to think about SEMA and some of you are pondering ways to improve your company. One question that has been floating around this season is, “Should I choose private label window film? Should I take on the responsibility and the power of a private label?” Here are some thoughts for you to ponder if you are considering jumping into the world of private labeling.

Private Benefits
Private labeling is a powerful tool that increases your image and market value over the competition, but how does it work? Your company appears more successful by having the financial ability to carry its own line of window films. Private labels allow you to brand exclusivity and greater freedoms with pricing strategy. Today, private labels are no longer considered a cheap alternative, but a cost effective way for customers to receive similar products to the national brand. Think about this, almost every national chain store today has its private label product sitting right next to the national brand.

A private label suggests success. It allows you to develop your company as an independent entity, rather than as an installation company that carries a national brand. You can also increase your market share by creating brand loyalty with your own label. Clients no longer have the advantage by taking a bid from you and purchasing the “same product” from the competition for less. Marketing materials, boxes, sample cards, etc. all have your own private label. Your company becomes a self-contained entity, reducing your dependence on your manufacturer.

“Today, private labels are no longer considered a cheap alternative, but a cost effective way for customers to receive similar products to the national brand.”

Private labels allow you to control your product line. Do you sell a medium-colored film? Most likely you sell one or two and so does the competition. Your competition might even carry the same national brand. However, if you were to private label your medium film and personalize it, you gain at least three advantages. First, your competition may not know what brand you are selling, giving you the upper hand in a bidding situation. Second, it gives you the freedom to develop your own warranties. Your warranty can be altered to fit your company’s needs and climate conditions. Third, you can price your product without being compared to the competition.

Survey Says
Interestingly enough, a study was done on private label products in 2009 by a Chicago based marketing firm. They found that nearly 80 percent of U.S. shoppers exhibited a positive attitude towards private labels. In fact, the study showed that private label purchases were up significantly. I believe that this is a great scenario for those who are ready to take the leap of faith. Not only could your sales increase, but, you would be adding value to your company’s overall net worth.

In these economic times, when manufacturers are going through changes and there is uncertainty in the brands being marketed today, why not give this some thought? After all, manufacturers change product lines from time to time. Why not consider private labeling your own line of film? What do you have to lose? And, more importantly, what do you have to gain?

Donna Wells has worked in the window film industry since the 1980s and is currently sole proprietor of Image Imagination in Huntington Beach, Calif.

Got a question for Donna?
Please email it to us at khodge@glass.com. Individual names and company names will be withheld upon request.


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