Bcwang, strangely enough I understand everything you said. Except.for the fact that your stats exceeding 100% we can overlook that for now.
I understand yours and bears points but it's a perspective based on what you read and hear and not from personal experience. Every detailer would most likely agree to an extent with your perspective on categorys of people and who likes what. The reality is that there are 2 categorys. Those who care about their cars and those who don't. Those who care have varying degrees of how they maintain their cars. Some go to car wash and some do it themselves and some take it to the pro.
Every area is different. I think the numbers are split pretty even on who does what. You also have to keep in mind that at any time someone new can be brought into the "take it to the pro" category and once they do they usually stay. I have many customers that were enthusiasts and then they got old and bring it to me. My business grows about 10% a year because more and more people realize that paying someone saves them time and money in the long run.
Furthermore, Optimum is like Oakley or underarmour. When was the last time you saw a commercial on TV for either of those brands. No one ever says, hey UA or Oakley, you guys need to market better or focus on a certain clientele. Nope, they throw some clothes on the back of an NFL player and say go play. Oakley puts glasses on a snowboarder and sales increase.
You also don't see those stores on every corner and yet we know that they are 2 of the best brands on the market. When you see a coating pop up on Google you may not being seeing the best consumer product. You most likely are seeing the best marketed product.
Why don't we see opti everywhere like we do avalon king or ceramic pro or cquarts, etc? It's because all of the R and D is in the product and little to marketing. The marketing is left up the the individual installer to reach his market.
On a side note, the group of people who are willing to bring it to the pros is probably the largest category, the most informed and educated category. When I think of and enthusiast who does it himself I see someone who needs help but also wants to learn by doing. Perfectly acceptable. Matt Mourmon is an enthusiast who says he strives for excellence. He may be better than most non pros but mainly because money is no object. That does not mean he is good.
If someone can make a birdhouse beautifully and trim it out and paint it and it's beautiful but it took him a week to build he would have.to charge $1,000 based on his man hours. If a pro can do the same quality in 12 hours and charge $250, who is better? Who is profitable and who can make more birdhouses and fulfill the need? (There are a lot of homeless birds out there).
My point is that you yourself may know how to coat a car but you can't coat a car as good as the pros. As you age you will find that doing it yourself is fun but paying a pro and having it done right is more fun. When your body starts to break down and time is more important because of kids and vacations and long hours you will begin to see that doing it yourself is a young man's game and you will leave that behind. (Hopefully you will mature).
That does not mean you won't take care of your car. On the contrary, you will find ways to make it easier to care for your car...as in a pro grade coating. By the way, you make think washing a consumer grade coated car is fantastic (hopefully you have thrown away the soap and got yourself onr and use nothing else), cleaning a pro grade coated car is so much better.
Anyway, it's late so until next time. (Because I could talk about this subject all night)