Is the window and door market splitting into high- and low-end segments, with little in between?

John G. Swanson
September 26, 2007
THE TALK...

Last week, I had the privilege to speak at a gathering of Pella’s engineering team. The group’s focus was innovation, and the list of speakers included an interesting guy—Paul Leinberger.

A marketing and branding guru, Leinberger said that innovation is no longer a competitive edge, but a consumer expectation. To get noticed at all, he suggested, companies need to be innovative in comparison with every other company out there in the world, not just compared to competitors in their category.

Leinberger observed that “mid-range product” was disappearing. Pointing to the steady decline of retailers like Sears and J.C. Penney, he said consumers are gravitating to the high end and/or low cost supplier. Pointing to Target specifically, he says the trend has been encouraged in part by the fact that more companies are successfully combining low cost with good design.

Of course, it made me wonder whether it’s happening in the window and door arena, so I thought I’d ask in this week’s poll. As usual, I’d love to get your input. Is “better” being taken out of the good, better, best line-up? We’ve certainly seen some manufacturers go increasingly upscale. And we know there are companies out there with low-cost products.
Email me and let me know your thoughts.

For poll results and industry feedback about this topic, click to the next page, and read Page 2 of “The Talk...”