Saturday, May 15, 2010

Some suppliers need take another look at the enthusiast market

What is wrong with the thought process of people these days?

I am building what could be considered a totally different Hot Rod. Oh sure you say, different, right, Hot Rods have been done, what could be new?
My approach is new enough that I have managed to get sponsor support, and I am not going into the project details here, once I get started I will post progress and pictures so stay tuned.

My point is, I just don’t understand the thinking of some suppliers, or potential suppliers, no names because I don’t want to embarrass them for their lack of sight and vision.

I have posted a description of what I am up to on several industry websites, and I have had some success, however…

I get a response from a television producer, he tells me they can help out, cool I think, this could be interesting and I give him a call.

Turns out he didn’t want to help me; he wanted to pick my brain about my build to use it on a planned show, NOT. He got next to nothing on that approach, and every time I tried to talk about my build, which was the whole point, he kept coming up with excuses as to why the concept would net work rather than exploring how to make it work.

I have noticed a lot of that attitude across the aftermarket, people like the approach and the concept, but when it comes to supporting the plan, they come up with endless reasons why they cannot. Seems that if a major magazine, the SEMA show and television are not involved they are not interested.

What is it about actually having products in front of the end user, the people who buy from their local speed/custom shop?
Television is good, however everyone knows these shows are nothing but glorified commercials, and that people who watch these shows really don’t buy the products?
Lots of people do watch these shows, but think about it, those who own custom vehicles are probably either working on them or driving them, or doing yard work for their wife so they can play with their car/truck later on.
The SEMA show is a great show, I love it, and a company’s product will be seen by a lot of buyers, great you sell products, and they end up in a warehouse or dusty corner of some shop. Does the enthusiast even know about said product? Do they know anyone who uses said product?
What I am saying here is that the trade show is only a small part of product recognition, those products need to get out to where the enthusiast is!

Those who claim to know best just don’t seem to get it, the enthusiast market is driven like Lemmings. Just look at the Tom-Tom thing, every second car seems to have one, just look around next commute. Ever wonder how many of these people g take the same route to work every day, but still have the thing turned on?
Take a look at the next lifted Jeep you see, what is on the front? Probably it’s a Warn winch. That is not because they are any better than some of the others; they bought one because someone they know has one. Will they ever actually use it? Probably not, but they have one and they get to live vicariously because of it.

The economy sucks, no news there, and contrary to the news cheerleaders it is going to be a long time before things get back to the old normal, if it ever does. Companies have to start to look at; ‘How Do We make This Work’ rather than making excuses.

One last point, I am in Canada, and I can’t count the number of suppliers who tell me they don’t target the Canadian market. Why not, we have an economy, recession didn’t happen here, we have a trade surplus, and housing values are going up.
Small market? Wrong, local cruse night gets 800 to 1000 cars a week, yah right small. Local 4x4 clubs have 15 to 20 trucks going out every weekend, and land use is not as restricted up here. Here is another interesting fact, the Bozo factor is also very small here, you know the fool who goes out and rips up the countryside.
People who go out in their 4x4 actually buy parts; imagine that.

Cruse night vehicles are increasing weekly, because we Canadians have a limited season so we make the best of ever second we have. We may not be as big as the California market, however we are no where near as restricted either, basically if it can be bolted on safely and passes the provincial testing it is legal, no silly tree hugger lobby groups who managed to convince some mindless, cover his ass, politician type rulings.

Sorry about the rant, I just don’t get it???