Is the Car Detailing Products Market Becoming Overcrowded?

Author: Rob Mobberley

In the last week I have received 5 approaches to stock new ranges of car detailing products, 2 of these I was already aware of as they have a small presence in the market, but 3 of them I have never previously encountered. So why the sudden flurry of new entrants to the market. For years the detailing products market was dominated by a handful of players including household names such as Autoglym & Turtle Wax. Then 10 years ago Meguiars entered the UK market and really started to shake things up with new and innovative products, more eye catching packaging and very targeted marketing aimed at those of us that took cleaning our motors very seriously.

Dodo Juice has in more recent times taken the market by storm with a range of quality based products and some really innovative and out of the box marketing never before seen in the world of car cleaning products. At the same time we have seen a large growth in the number of people going self-employed as professional detailers/valeters, whether this is through choice or necessity (i.e. redundancy). And it is from this sector that we see many of the new products that are presented to us. Unfortunately many do not have the pre-requisites that are required to successfully launch a new product into the market place. As a retailer we would expect to see one or more of the following:

  1. A unique product that provides a real solution to a common problem
  2. A great story to tell – Surf City is a new entrant to the UK that have an interesting story to tell as well as good quality products
  3. A quality of product better than others currently on the market
  4. A short and long term marketing plan backed by appropriate budget (don’t expect the retailer to become your marketing dept)
  5. A new technology that makes detailing easier, quicker and or gives better results – GTechniq is a great example here

Unfortunately many new entrants come with average packaging, no USPs, no marketing plan or budget to speak of and products formulated from the same chemists as many other names already on the market and an expectation that if the retailer takes the product they will be able do the promotion for them.

It is not that we do not want to see new products and brands coming into the market as healthy competition means more product development and choice for the consumer to benefit from. The danger however is that the market place becomes overcrowded with me-too products that serve to confuse the consumer and dilute the opportunities for those that have a real point of differentiation.

If you are in the process of launching or thinking of putting a new product/brand into the detailing world we would encourage you to do so, but please ensure that you are armed with at least one or more of the points above. And if you are not, please take time out to see how you can change your detailing product, brand, marketing or service that will enable you to stand out from the crowd and ultimately have far more chance of success and brand following.

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  • It’s very hard for new manufacturers to enter on the market, where the old and with reputation detailing products are already setup and loved by detailers and car enthusiast.

  • For a car cleaning ‘newbie’ so to speak I think it can be a little confusing choosing the right products so in that respect I think the market could be classed as crowded yes. However if you stick at it you will soon become aware of the staple products you need and the more gimmicky offerings that probably shouldn’t be touched…

  • I went to the Classic Car show in November last year and there were the big players like Meguiars and Mer etc there as well a handful of smaller players that I have never heard of so i do agree. The internet has opened up a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs so online shops are easy to open and Ebay and Amazon make it easier to sell goods online and car care is a passionate market so no wonder these new products are popping up all over the place (badly or well done!)

    Whether you make your own or rebrand, I do agree, you need a USP and something different. There are plenty of car owners passionate to try out new products as well but on the other hand, there are plenty who would rather stick to what they know..

    Having said all that, we have a new product X1 Shine and Seal and it is a DIY paint protection kit (wash, Step 1 and Step 2) and we have had it tested up against the big boys such as Meguiars with good results (plus point – ours was easier to apply). Our USP is the fact that this is easy to do yourself and not rely on car dealers who charge a fortune. We do pretty well online and that is where we sell it. We got Halfords interest and it may be in their shops next year. So, there is hope for newcomers with a difference but you are dead right – you need a USP or you just don’t get seen..