Ron@Optimum

Opti-Coat Pro3

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1 hour ago, Tug Bankert said:

It's up to the installer to educate their customers directly. I have a few videos on opti but I won't do comparisons. It's just not in my wheel house. Furthermore, rolls Royse never allows their cars to be tested against any others due to the reason that, quote, "they are rolls Royce". If an opti installer would like to do a comparison, go ahead, it's perfectly fine. I feel that no other coating compares to the length of opti coatings. Therefore, like rolls, I already know nothing else compares so why bother doing a test. It would be difficult to do testing because everyone wants to do the torture tests and not a length test. The true comparison would be years of nature's effects and not spraying an apc and then rinsing it off. 

I'm thinking more about tests comparing the 3 optimum coatings rather than against other brands.  I mean we should know all 3 pro ones would survive torture tests indefinitely since they are truly permanent right, so if compared against other brands they theoretically should all win in durability.  So it's to compare the other attributes to help potential customers choose among the optimum coatings.

If someone could visually see how much more gloss plus adds over pro, or pro3 adds over plus, and how much taller the beads are, or how quickly the water falls off paint, or how easily a MF towel slides off, then they know what the extra money is buying.  Having seen results like that would help convince people why to go with plus or pro3 over just plain old pro given pro is already supposed to be permanent regardless of the fact that it has a shorter 5 year warranty.  Now you may be able to convince customers if you had this test panel in your shop to demo to them while they are picking to go for the pro3 because the positive attributes are worth it.  But if this test panel demo was also on the internet, it may get people to seek out your shop over others if you're one of the few or maybe the only pro3 installer in your area.

Maybe you are able to convince people to go to pro3 based on claimed merits, but I'm pretty sure there are also many people like me who don't just believe what the manufacturer says and wants to see some proof of performance.  There are so many false claims in the detailing world especially now that so many SIO2 coatings are claiming 5-7-9 years and more durability, yet you see failures in less than 2 years from tests out there like ScottHD's channel.  That half and half test David Fermani did with his Ford Fusion with Opticoat Pro that had weekly dawn washes and monthly touchless washes showing no reduced performance after 2 years is what got me convinced of opticoat durability.  So if there was something on the internet showing tests to that level, it gives you and other installers something to reference for actual performance results of pro3 rather than just having them blindly trust your words or manufacturer claims when deciding to spend more than  double or triple  the money for pro3 over pro plus or pro.  I'm just thinking it can generate more sales if those benefits are clear, which today I've not really heard enough to say pro3 is actually better than pro plus.

As a quick example for my own situation, if I had a new car and wanted a pro coating installed today, I'd probably go for pro plus because half a year after release and doing as much research and searching I could, I still have no idea if pro 3 is glossier or more hydrophobic than plus, or whether it really protects better from swirls or chemicals.  In fact I think it might be less hydrophobic and slick than plus.  But nothing concrete to know for sure.  Since Plus was already supposed to be chemical resistant and lifetime durability, pro 3 benefits are unknown to me.  None of my local detailers are pro3 authorized either, so no way to go see a job in person.    However, if there was something available on youtube or this forum or other detailing forum showing side by side technical performance improvements in a way that is convincing, with other customers also reporting the same findings of how good pro 3 performs, I would then be willing to travel 2 hours to the closest pro 3 installer to get that coating installed.  

I guess I'm a little disappointed that pro3 was released with such little fanfare and with as much searching on the internet as I could after over half a year after release, I barely have any idea how well this coating performs.

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Optimum depends on it's reputation AND the quality of it's installers to sell OC3.  I'm not sure how we would overcome skepticism over any tests and too many qualities are nearly impossible to quantify.  There's no easy way to do durability testing, gloss and shine can be measured (but how often?), chemical/UV resistance another tough one. Bead size vs sheeting is an argument waiting to happen, everyone has different opinions over which is best.  I know Dr G is happy with OC3 sales and felt it filled a niche in our ceramic coating lineup. Our first distribution of OC3 was to Pro Installers, to use on their personal vehicles and they became beta testers and their cars a billboard for the product.

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 I know Dr G is happy with OC3 sales and felt it filled a niche in our ceramic coating lineup. Our first distribution of OC3 was to Pro Installers, to use on their personal vehicles and they became beta testers and their cars a billboard for the product.

I completely agree with you Ron: if you're not looking to convince more people to purchase the product, and you're not looking to improve sales numbers, then there is no reason to offer additional information and marketing materials for Opti-Coat Pro 3.  It is easy to justify not putting forth the effort as well as arguing for Optimums inability to market this product more effectively, especially if you use terms like to "overcome skepticism."  That is a high bar and no one suggesting that all skepticism must be overcome. 

I don't think anyone is going to be sold on paying 2x to 3x for a premium coating because of its durability, shine, or gloss when the "lower level" coating already offers maximum durability and better-than-new shine.  So the question is what qualities sell the coating?  We know the word "best" is meaningless in marketing. 

I would assume this product offers better scratch resistance?  Then we do a scratch tested with controlled variables for weight, speed & pressure.

Or perhaps the scratch resistance is the same, but it's a thicker coating?  Then we demonstrate the thickness of the coating itself using precise measuring instruments in an experiment.

Is the coating glossier?  Then we use a gloss meter.  Is the hydrophobic effect stronger?  Then we measure bead angle.  

Is the coating more resistant to acids or alkali?  (I would expect not) but if it is, we can do testing for this too.

Will everyone who sees these tests believe 100% of what they see?  No, they will never 100% overcome "skepticism."  But if that's your bar for further marketing, then there's no use in further marketing for any product or service in the world because someone will always doubt it.  For that reason I don't think it's a rational argument against better marketing for this product.

Then again, if you and Dr. G are certain you do not want any increased sales for this product then that's certainly an option but don't expect random forum posters to have any idea where you are coming from with that approach since it is extremely uncommon in business.

 

 

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Autokosmetik,

I'm not sure if you really understood what Ron or us installers have said. I suspect you are slightly delusional when it comes to what marketing is or opti coats approach to their coatings. Each installer is responsible for reaching their audience. We do not try and reach the masses. We focus on our areas. If an installer chooses to do comparisons and test and so forth, they may be doing exaclty that. You may not have come across their videos or blogs. I have many blogs explaining things in detail about coatings, clear coat, polishing, etc. You have probably not read them. The info is out there and you may not have been exposed to it. 

As to sales of opti coatings, I believe Ron said that they are up and doing well. I have a feeling that the reason is due to opti installers educating their customers. Your thinking behind the marketing strategy you and bcwang mentioned would reach a very small percentage of people. As a result of going after that small group, the amount of money spent and work done would not be worth it. So how do we market to the average person which is who will pay our bills and not the guy who wants to "handle" the coating? We tell them a coating saves time and money because it's easy to clean. This is how I sell my pro, etc. Most people understand this. I would lose many over the conversation of how these beads stood taller than that bead or this coating is shinier than that one. That will reach the small percentage of people, as in, about 1 out of 10 and the other 9 out of 10 would never listen to all of that nonsense. 

That's exaclty what beads and gloss discussion is..a waste of time. Pro is hard, slick and glossy, easy to clean. Pro Plus is slicker, glossier and easy to clean. Pro 3 with plus on top is harder thicker, slicker and easier to clean than pro or pro plus. This model works as a selling point on how my customers choose which one. Price is the biggest factor to determine which one is best and which one my customers will get. 

 

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beyond the snark, Auto, Optimum always enjoys the suggestions on how it should market products, what products it needs, and the tests it should perform.  Everybody knows our business better then we.  You obviously don't understand how Optimum operates and that's understandable because we're not a "traditional" company.  Of course we want more sales, to be recognized as the leader in car care products, enjoy the respect and love of all.  We also accept in a social media world some of that is unattainable.  I'm curious if you've made the above testing suggestions to all the over ceramic coating manufacturers - I haven't noticed any deep dive analysis on their products (beyond self serving promotional marketing)?  Optimum could do all that expensive, time consuming research and it would be blown off as hype...I've been told more than once that our coatings are "snake oil", ironic when you consider the large number of ceramics now available. 

Dr G's approach is to authorize the best installers and incentivize them to sell the products.  They are the best sales force we could employ.  Last point - ceramic coatings aren't for everyone and OC3 in particular will be limited to those who want the best...Optimum can live with that.

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Wanting the best .vs being able to __get__ the best:  a challenge for us customers is deciding how far to go to __get__ a coating, and __when__.  In my Pro+'s case, my vehicle had already received a badly applied ceramic coating that our local detailer had to polish off in order to apply Pro+, which in turn required an overnight shop stay to cure.  Fortunately, the detailer provided transport to/from his shop and did fine work. 

For my current vehicle,  upgrading to Pro3 would require a 50 mile or more trip to an "exclusive" detailer, another overnight stay to get applied, and having Pro+ polished off.  Is it and the trip hassle worth it?  Possibly,  if the car was brand new and uncoated, so I'll consider that for next vehicle.  Meanwhile Pro+ and other Optimum products have worked well: they definitely make the vehicle easy to wash.

Perhaps some day there will be a Pro4 that can survive brush car washes (no coating can to date, nor are any warrantied for that abuse) - that would be a further enticement. 

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21 minutes ago, Mr.Outback said:

Perhaps some day there will be a Pro4 that can survive brush car washes (no coating can to date, nor are any warrantied for that abuse) - that would be a further enticement. 

Or maybe sooner a "Pro3 Plus" if Pro3 is actually less glossy and slick than Pro Plus.  If there are drawbacks beyond price to the more expensive coating vs the lower level ones, it makes it a harder sell.  But if everything was better about it, then less to contemplate on other drawbacks and focus can only be on the cost level. 

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There already is a pro 3 plus but it's just called pro 3. By the way, pro 3 is not hard to sell and it is as glossy and slick as pro plus. Most people will not by it due to the price point. As Ron said in other comment, pro 3 filled a niche that opti needed. I totally agree. It rounded out the coating lineup and it's one of the main reasons my coating sales have increased dramatically. I can now offer a coating for every person, budget, and vehicle type. What other coating companies can say that?

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On 9/16/2021 at 8:56 AM, Tug Bankert said:

There already is a pro 3 plus but it's just called pro 3.

Hi Tug,

When I said "pro 3 plus", I meant the 5 layer combo you are doing.  Pro3 with it's 4 layers, and the additional plus layer topcoat.  At least that's what I've been understanding  what you've been doing for even better results than pro 3 itself.  

Since you mentioned plus adds gloss and hydrophobics on top of pro3, it would seem optimal for there to be a "pro 3 plus" that adds all those benefits, officially released by Optimum, for the best results.  Or maybe some later "new formula" rev of pro3 could take care of that improvement.  

The point I'm making is that it's unfortunate that pro 3 on it's own has some drawbacks to plus.  When you pay a premium, you also hope the higher end product is better in every way other than price.  And it seems there was a way to get rid of the current drawbacks of pro3 by topping it with a layer of plus.

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bc, 

I completely understand what you are saying. Let's first establish that pro 3 is in no way inferior to pro plus. Remember that the plus layer was created to shut the mouths of the sio2 coating lovers. Sio2 coatings tend to mimic wax or sealant in look and feel. When it comes to a coating, you cannot make it extremely durable and high gloss at the same time so a top layer was created. 

Pro 3 is almost  completely pure silicon carbide. This component is hard and extremely durable but not as glossy as some other sio2 coatings. The base layer adds no real gloss. Just darkens the color. The top layer of pro 3 is a hybrid sio2 sic and is glossier than the base. Pro 3 is harder, thicker, and will endure better over time and is more durable than pro plus.  

The point I am making is that looks are the only difference between the 2 coatings is looks. Yes, pro plus is glossier than pro 3. Water beads more on plus than 3 by itself. 3 is still better because it's harder and thicker. Adding plus to 3 is like putting extra icing on already amazing cake. I want to give my customers everything we offer. Pro 3 by itself is still better in all the ways that really count. Beading doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of durability. 

Here is the question. Would you rather chose a coating that is crazy durable and hard but not much gloss or would you rather have a super duper glossy coating that only lasts for so long? With plus on 3 you can have the best of both worlds. Pro Plus will never have the hardenss of Pro 3 but Pro 3 will never.have the gloss of Pro Plus. 

On a side note, from what I understand opti will not make a single layer or even a multi layer coating that is both hard and glossy at the same time. They have to be done in layers, as in layering a glossy coating on top of a hard coating. Pro 3 with plus on top is as good as its going to get. Who knows what the future hold for opti coatings but I can't imagine anything better than pro 3 plus. 

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Dumb non-pro question with respect to PPF and coatings.

About 7 years ago I had Opticoat Pro applied to entire car after Xpel film applied to front end - and all have held up well with routine ONR washes, and the use of Hyperseal (started HS this year and addicted).  So, when I purchase another car....

If the base layer of Pro3 darkens the color as noted in previous post, should the Pro3 be applied over entire car first (before PPF) so that color is uniform? However, elsewhere I read that the PPF may not adhere well if coating applied first.

Thanks.

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5 hours ago, AMDG75 said:

Dumb non-pro question with respect to PPF and coatings.

About 7 years ago I had Opticoat Pro applied to entire car after Xpel film applied to front end - and all have held up well with routine ONR washes, and the use of Hyperseal (started HS this year and addicted).  So, when I purchase another car....

If the base layer of Pro3 darkens the color as noted in previous post, should the Pro3 be applied over entire car first (before PPF) so that color is uniform? However, elsewhere I read that the PPF may not adhere well if coating applied first.

Thanks.

This is the way I would think of it if I wanted best results:

1. You'd want the opticoat pro 3 applied on bare polished paint to build the permanent barrier.  It costs a lot, and you would want that money spent where it counts, to protect the original paint.  Then, you'd have to let it fully cure which can take a month or so.  Heat lamps, sun exposure, those can probably help make it faster but for safety even using all that, one month seems safe.  Ideally, you don't drive it at all so it doesn't pick up any swirls during this month.

2. Get PPF applied after coating is cured.  If you didn't drive it, hopefully it's swirl free and clean so no further polishing is needed and PPF can be applied.  Now, the coating protects the paint from the PPF adhesive, especially the removal part years later when the PPF is dingy, beat up, and needs replacement.  Also, if the PPF is removed, the paint is still protected like the rest of the car.  I don't think the right PPF should have trouble sticking to pro3 if it worked fine on pro plus.  Apparently pro plus is slicker than pro3.

3. After PPF is applied, then you could apply opticoat pro plus on it to give a slick and easy to clean PPF surface.  It's probably not worth to go more expensive on the coating on the PPF because A: It's unclear if opticoat SiC can bond permanently to PPF the way it does to paint.  Being a more flexible substrate, it may not have the same durability.  and B:  Eventually the PPF likely has to be replaced in 5  years or so due to being beat up, yellowed, etc..    So it's not worth putting a very expensive coating to protect something that is temporary.  Pro Plus also seems to have more hydrophobics and slickness anyway which is desirable for PPF cleanliness.

By the way, I don't know if there is any long term test of opticoat pro of some form and whether it protects PPF from any yellowing, stains, and cracking after long periods of time, like 10 years or more.  Or if there has been any test to see if opticoat eventually fails on PPF and needs reapplication in certain intervals to maintain performance.  It would be interesting if such data was out there.  

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bc,

So what you are describing, pro 3 on paint, ppf on pro 3 and pro plus on ppf would be extremely expensive depending of how much ppf coverage. There is no advantage to putting film on top of coating. Ppf on factory paint is sufficient. Ppf is warrantied for 10 years and I'm sure it's life is actually longer than 10 years. 

Pro Plus or pro3 on top of ppf would extend its life exponentially. It would be more beneficial to put ppf down and then spend the money on pro 3 to protect the ppf then to put it under the ppf. 

Fun fact, heat lamps, IR lamps do nothing to cure pro or pro 3 any faster. Humidity and time cures the coatings. There is also no need to park your car for 30 days during the cure process. You certainly can if you like but not necessary.  

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Hi Tug,

What I was describing was an idea for ultimate protection though expensive and impractical for most people to attempt.  It was supposed to not care about cost nor time. If someone had that million dollar supercar, among one of their many cars, I think this expensive and long waiting process would provide the most protection they could ever get. 
 

Do you know of PPF in strong sun conditions, like outdoor parked 24/7 in Florida, lasting 10 years without looking bad and wanting replacement?  I’m sure a good ppf on a car garaged most of the time can probably easily last the life of the car.  But it’s the ones that battle constant harsh environments I wonder where their life is.  Do you also know if Opticoat can bond permanently to ppf?
 

From a practicality standpoint, I agree that polishing, ppf, then coating everything makes the most sense. With the idea they most people probably in some time would eventually get to the point that they would end up needing a repolish at some point anyway and would replace the ppf and redo the coating job again.  Even if the coating failed on the ppf, the ppf would be protecting the paint underneath. 
 

I just have fun thinking of what to do to have the most durable protection possible.  Given what I know about available products and their performance and usage information. 
 

About the curing, temperature does not increase curing rate at all?  Dr G actually mentioned somewhere that every 18 degree F increase in temp, the reaction rate for cross linking and curing doubles. So that’s why I think temp does have an impact on cure time, with the hotter temps allowing the coating to be water proof, chemical proof, and develop full hardness faster. 
 

So those recommendations about 12 hour before water exposure, and 7 days before washing with chemicals, I always thought they were worst case situations for climates with cold and dry winters to wait. For safety I’d always follow those wait times but I thought a hot (110 degree days) and humid environment should actually achieve those water ready and wash ready targets much faster than a car sitting with max temps of 40 degrees. 

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