Running on Fumes: Innovate Rather Than Imitate

Editorial : January 22, 2009

As the automotive industry catches up with the technology at its disposal, more and more brick and mortar shops are opening online performance parts stores. In an industry that’s largely resistant to change, it’s nice to see people finally embracing the opportunities that an online performance parts store has to offer.

But there’s trouble in paradise.

With so many online stores vying for your hard-earned dollars, the market becomes flooded with performance parts eStores each indistinguishable from the next. Do a Google and it becomes a flurry of: “We’ll sell our souls to sell you performance parts!”

That’s a slight exaggeration, but you get the point.

It’s actually very similar to what’s happening in the fast food industry. Before McDonald’s opens a new store, they do extensive market research into the area to make sure it’s the best location for their customers and for their business. You know what happens next? Burger King opens a store directly across the street, effectively devaluing both businesses because they sell virtually the same product for the same price.

So what’s a performance parts store to do?

My two cents: Carve out an identity for yourself. Be more than just one of the faceless imitators promoting “top speed performance parts.” Sure, you could say my opinion is biased and our National Speed eStore is still relatively new, but I feel we’re truly doing something that hasn’t been done before in the performance parts business.

Make no mistake: we don’t blog and make videos just to sell you performance parts. We do it because we love the industry that we’re in and want to give you an experience that no other performance parts store does. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but we’d rather take it a step further and innovate rather than imitate.

That’s the National Speed difference.