Remember The Brand | Performance Racing Industry
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Remember The Brand
By John Kilroy on May 15, 2015

From this vantage point at PRI, it certainly seemed there were changes taking place in racing industry marketing that may not have always been the best thing for the companies shifting their approach. Too many companies, it seemed, were finding a sense of comfort in restricting marketing to the development of their own e-commerce website, regular email blasts to their own customers and maintaining a presence in social media to stay connected to their customers. Unique website visitors, email open rates and Facebook likes are important, and racing companies have done a pretty spectacular job in evolving with new digital media. However, the concern is that some racing companies may have essentially stopped sending messages outside of their current customer base. My view of a healthy customer base is that it is more of a stream than anything as solid as, say, a brick. A brick may disintegrate over time, and there is nothing in this structure to prolong its life. However, a stream allows for customers to exit for various reasons, while the customer base stays healthy with new customers coming in. Every successful company--big or small--has a great story to tell, and that story should be told on a regular basis beyond the current customer base. A successful spectrum of marketing must always include ways to capture that brand new customer.

Another interesting concern was identified in a marketing blog entry that PRI Sales Manager Jeff Swoboda recently shared with me. The author is Seth Godin (www.sethgodin.com), a graduate of Stanford University's School of Business who went on to launch Yoyodyne, a bold new kind of marketing firm that he eventually sold to Yahoo for $30 million in 1998. Godin's point in the blog entry is that digital marketing has a dangerous side. It resembles the old days of direct marketing, when a huge science and industry was based on creating printed mailers that generated sales in a very direct manner. Today, the focus is on clicks on digital promotional vehicles. The danger, said Godin, is as a company focuses more and more on increasing the number of clicks for specific products, it may stop telling its story in the process. "Whether you're a solo entrepreneur or a giant corporation, this is a trap the web sets for you. What you need to sacrifice to make the numbers work might be the very brand you seek to build," said Godin. From Apple to Harley Davidson, NASCAR to F1, the power of the brand can generate a lot of revenue over a long period of time. Taking the time and making the investment to market your company's brand won't always provide highly trackable results, but it is key to securing a healthy, longterm future. The brand develops trust, allegiance, faithfulness, connection, sustained curiosity, complex communication and more.

Great racing businesses--big and small--almost always have a great story to tell beyond the current line of products or services. This story is the brand, and the brand is precious. It may be a good time to review your efforts to market the brand.

About the Author
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John Kilroy is the Publisher of Performance Racing Industry magazine.
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