“Traditionally garage doors have been used to close off a house from the outdoors. New uses for garage doors do the opposite by opening up the house to the outdoors.
One of the strengths of the North American Overhead door industry is that so many of the general managers and door company owners have extensive experience in the industry. They understand doors, the complications that can arise with installations, and the factors that influence door quality. They understand that in addition to selling an overhead door, they are selling a complete system, including openers, weather-stripping, windows and warranties.
If you ask those same people to name the two most important benefits of selecting the right overhead door, they will typically state that it properly seals the garage opening and it improves the curb-appeal of the house.
Those are accurate benefits, but they also limit the view of overhead doors. It is possible to use what is commonly called Web 2.0 to look at garage doors through different eyes.
Web 1.0 vs 2.0
Web 1.0 typically refers to the early days of the internet. Companies posted information online. They developed web pages with data, photos, etc. Web 1.0 was, by and large, a one-way communication path — companies speaking to consumers.
Web 1.0 reached its peak with the launch of sophisticated search engines such as Yahoo, Google and countless other that have since fallen to the side.
Web 2.0 began to evolve 7-8 years ago. Instead of a one-way communication, it increasingly allowed average consumers to add content to the web. This included the ability to comment on service quality (on hotel and travel websites, for example), the introduction of blogs (where consumers are the one-way communicators) to social media (where multiple consumers interact).
For years, the Questions From the Web section of the Garage Door News has provided consumer feedback to traditional uses of overhead doors. While these consumer views are important, the key value of Web 2.0 is that it moves away from consumers simply responding to commercial products and messaging, and begins to take a lead.
Through Different Eyes
Pinterest.com is generally ranked as the fourth most influential social media site after Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. At its most basic, Pinterest is simple. It allows consumers to post photos of things that interest them. Viewers can then ‘pin’ these photos – add them to their portfolio. As such, Pinterest is an ideal way for homeowners to post and select photos of home improvement ideas.
What do we see when we search Pinterest for garage door ideas? Consider the six photos shown from Pinterest.com.
These doors are easy to describe. Some are sectional. There is one bi-fold door. There is broad use of glass panels. But there is so much more that can be seen.
While they are all doors that face the exterior, none impact curb-appeal. They do not close an opening in the house. Instead they open the house to the natural and recreational part of a home. They do not close the house, they expand the house. They change the perspective.
Traditional residential garage doors are solid materials – wood, steel or aluminum – to hide the assets and clutter in the garage. The doors shown in these photos are really large windows. So they use glass to enable light into the house and individuals in the house to look out. They use door construction more similar to service center doors than traditional residential garage doors.
This difference is very important. For typical garage doors, the beauty is judged from the curb…from the outside. Ideally a neighbor, standing on the street looking towards your house, would comment about your new garage door: “It makes your house look great!”
For the doors highlighted, the opposite is true. The beauty is really seen from the hardware side of the door. The door opens the house to nature. As such, the neighbor would instead be standing in your family room or den looking at the door saying: “Your yard and pool look great!” While external aesthetics will still be important, the interior view of the door also matters.
The Marketing Lesson
Many people in the overhead door industry want to take advantage of the move to high end residential renovations. It is an attractive market.
But servicing this market does not only require a focus on different doors. Clearly the R-Value has a lessened role. The sturdiness of the hinges and angles is important, but not the key issue.
The beauty of the door is not judge by the number of available colors of exterior door faces or the panel design. Instead the beauty of the door is judged by what it allows the individual to see from the interior of the house and also to see beyond the door. That is totally different. It requires different eyes.”
– The Garage Door News, August 2013. Volume 22, Issue 8.
Photos – Source: Pinterest.com