2020 In Hindsight
By Darrell Smith
Sometimes when you are driving through a rough patch on the road, you are glad to see it go away in your rear view mirror as you move forward. That’s about how we feel about 2020. The year began like a rocket ride, with the economy pushing through historic boundaries on all fronts. So, when the COVID pandemic struck, it grounded everything real fast and rather than flying high, everyone seemed to hunker down. But despite the tenacity of the virus, we all came together and worked harder to get stronger. As a result, there were many accomplishments achieved despite the challenges the industry faced.
Early on during the pandemic, the IWFA board of directors moved quickly to support the industry, especially the smaller dealer – installer businesses across North America. Their actions included:
* Tracking government programs that would specifically help small business people and getting the information out quickly to those companies, whether they were IWFA members or not.
* Approving strategic advertising in Google and in social media platforms to support the IWFA’s business locator feature on its website so as to drive more opportunity to dealers as they re-opened their shops after being forced to close for a period of time.
* Continuing to improve and modify the IWFA’s sophisticated Efilm program that enables member window film companies to calculate the energy savings impact which installation of window films could have on a commercial building project.
* Supporting the rapid deployment of new generic marketing materials such as door hangers, advertising flyers and post cards geared toward generating sales and customer inquiries for local window film businesses, member and nonmembers alike.
* Recognizing that ‘window film’, as a trending search term in Google, appears to have become as popular and is now surpassing the term ‘new window’. In addition, a survey of dealers showed that consumers coming to them today are somewhat more informed about window film than they were five years ago.
Many manufacturers in the window film industry also pivoted quickly to redeploy their production know-how and talent to offer entirely new products such as face shields, room and space dividers, and other safety and security offerings.
As we prepare to pause for the Christmas and New Year holidays, we wanted to reflect on 2020 and say that in many ways the challenges we all faced helped us to build ‘new muscle’ that we never had before; so for 2021, we hope to be all the stronger as proud members of the IWFA and community at large.