Water spots are a little something we encounter all the time in the surface protection world, and whether you know it or not, you do too. Ever wondered what that powdery substance on your car was? The tiny spots of residue build up on the front display windows of your business? The residue making your shower doors powdery?
Is Pro a Ceramic Coating? "Is Pro a ceramic coating?" is one of the most common questions we get from people interested in trying our products. The short answer is: no.We at Undrdog are not in the market of selling buzz. We sell super-efficient, affordable surface protection and cleaners. That’s why we decided to depart from the standard set of industry-specific buzzwords like "ceramic", "graphene", "titanium" and "nano", despite the fact that our products have many of the same qualities. All these terms are marketing gimmicks - bold words that give the illusion of durability - but are ultimately hollow and meaningless. The Truth About Ceramic Coatings There are a few types of compounds out there that are all referred to as "ceramic". These include SiO2 (silica), titanium, metal oxides, graphene, etc., along with ceramic soaps & sprays and even oil. And although all these things are drastically different from one another, they somehow get to fall under the same term - "ceramic". The truth is, most of these products are nothing more than some polymer sealants with ceramic nanoparticles thrown in. This means they’re "ceramic" in the loosest sense of the word. Separating the Myth from Reality At the end of the day, what you’ll get is an overpriced coating that is going to last anywhere from 1 to 5 years depending on maintenance. It will not be very hydrophobic and eliminate the danger of scratches, swirl marks, and water spots.Even "true" ceramic coatings can’t guarantee the complete protection of your car. Despite the claims of some manufacturers and detailers, they’re not a miracle product that will not solve any and every problem. Rocks will still chip your paint, rogue shopping carts will absolutely dent your fender, and tree sap left to bake on the hood will laugh at your $1,000 coating. The gloss and hydrophobic properties will dull over time and require a lot of gentle maintenance. Plus, ceramics are difficult to install and remove. This makes them unsuitable, and perhaps even dangerous for enthusiasts and professionals without significant training. What Your Customers Really Want Now, let’s talk about what customers are after when they say they want a ceramic coating. 99% of the time, it’s for the vehicle to be protected, easier to maintain & look good - which is exactly what Undrdog Pro does. Detailers, as the professionals in this relationship, have the responsibility to help customers get past the idea that "ceramic" automatically means high-quality, and that nothing else compares.To do that, you need to speak in simple terms and avoid the (ab)use of industry jargon.We at Undrdog believe that protecting the appearance of our cars is part of the ownership experience, and want to make sure that it’s accessible to everyone. That’s why we choose to call things what they are - protective coatings. How Long Does Undrdog Pro Last? "My customers want to know how long Undrdog Pro will last! What should I say?" - is another question we get asked frequently and believe it is an important matter to address here.The reason we don’t advertise a precise amount of time our coatings will last is simple: subjectivity. Car manufacturers don't promise mileage. They will never say anything close to "you're guaranteed to get 250k miles out of this vehicle!" What they do say is - to get the most out of vehicle, take it in for a regular oil changes, maintenances, etc. Yet, most surface protection companies guarantee a specific amount of years their products will endure. But that always comes with a long list of things you can’t do, and a list of things you must do for that guarantee to stand. As the saying goes "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is".The thing is, a lot of the items on the first list are common occurrences like going to a drive-through wash or using certain chemicals. A lot of the items on the second list are things the majority of car owners don’t do. Loopholes in Warranties So warranties issued by a great number of companies in the industry have been designed to iron out any possibility that you, as a customer, will be able to make a claim against the product. At Undrdog, we decided on a different route - one that puts the control in your and your customer's hands. Our goal is to establish trust by promising only what we are sure to deliver. We can’t know or predict how your customers will take care of their vehicles. So we can’t pinpoint the exact amount of time the coating will last, and we aren’t willing to make uneducated guesses. Categories of Car Owners To adequately assess how long the coating will last for a specific customer, you must first know their car maintenance routine and understand their driving habits. We’ve used these factors as criteria to group car owners into three basic categories. Once you determine which one your customer belongs to, you will be able to provide an accurate estimate of Pro’s longevity. Enthusiast A small number of car owners are enthusiasts who go above and beyond to maintain their vehicles. These are the people who bucket wash, blow-dry, avoid all chemicals, and use only the best microfiber towels. For them, Pro will last 5 to 8 years. Average Joe Most car owners, and probably the majority of your customers, fall into this bracket.They are too busy to pamper their car so they rarely wash it by hand and usually take it to a touchless car wash. Sometimes, they resort to a drive-through wash - because it’s convenient and cheap, and occasionally, they take the car to the detailer to get it spruced up a bit. For them, Pro will last 3 to 5 years. Indifferent Lastly, there are car owners who don’t care about their vehicles at all. We all know some of them and thankfully, they are easy to spot right off the bat. It’s highly unlikely that these people are going to magically change their behavior after a paint correction and start properly maintaining their vehicles. For them, Pro will last 1 to 3 years. How to Use This Information This means Undrdog Pro has the potential to last anywhere from 1 to 8 years, depending on maintenance, and that’s exactly what you should say to your customers. Educate them about what proper maintenance looks like and let them decide how much effort they want to put into it. Otherwise, you might end up in the position of making them feel bad for "messing up" later on or having to tackle buyer’s remorse. Setting and Managing Expectations We don’t want any of these things for our company - we want to establish a line of authenticity and build long-term relationships with our customers. That’s why we always say: Our coating is going to go the distance for how well it is taken care of. And this is true for other protective coatings too, even if they advertise 10 years or a lifetime of protection. The amount of advertising messages we are bombarded with 24/7 has made us skeptical. That doesn’t come as a surprise, as so many of these messages are manipulative & deceiving.People know big claims don’t always measure up. Nowadays, customer trust is rewarded to businesses that foster genuine relationships - rather than making the next sale - and care about values like authenticity & reliability. Customer Trust and Loyalty Customer trust and loyalty are essential to building a successful business. And while that may seem obvious, it's hard to overstate the value of building a strong customer base.In 2019, 81% of consumers said that they need to be able to trust a brand before they become customers. What this means is that people are not going to spend their hard-earned money on a company they don’t trust. But it also means they are willing to reward businesses they do trust. Bottom line? Customer trust makes all the difference. Cultivating trust is important because when customers trust you, they will choose you. This drives customer loyalty, and loyal customers are extremely valuable. They are a massive source of repeat revenue, and are inclined to become brand advocates and ambassadors - the people that will recommend your products or services to family members, friends, and just about anyone who asks. Establishing a Trustworthy Brand Establishing a trustworthy brand is simple: be transparent and deliver on promises you make. Transparency will get you on the path to trust because it helps eliminate any suspicions or anxieties your customers might have about the value of what you’re offering. Transparency fosters trust By laying out the truth about your products and services and being forthcoming about potential limitations, you’ll prove that you aren’t trying to hide any flaws. On the other hand, bending the truth will only drive customers away from you, just like setting unrealistic expectations will undoubtedly damage your business and reputation. So use the power of honesty and let your customers know exactly what to expect. The Main Takeaway If you want to grow your business and delight your customers, under-promise & overdeliver. Ultimately, they don’t care about the chemical composition of the coating you use. But they do care about what it will do to make their life easier and more enjoyable. So skip the sensationalist claims and use your expertise to explain the benefits of the products you use and the services you provide, not their features.