The recent Bassmaster Classic and the upcoming ICAST Show undoubtedly get people thinking about the value of a win on the fishing industry’s largest stages. Historically the lure used to win the Bassmaster Classic and other national events has provided the manufacturer a platform to catapult demand and revenue to new heights. For the manufacturers and retailers that know how to capitalize on tournament successes there is tremendous opportunity to leverage those accomplishments into bigtime sales. Manufacturers and dealers that don’t proactively position themselves to take advantage of those wins, will never know what might have been.
Similarly to the perceived value of a Classic victory, many people consider winning Best New Product Awards at industry trade shows like ICAST and EFFTEX to automatically trigger significant sales, but as many have learned, that isn’t always the case. There have been a significant number of products and young brands that languished or disappeared in the wake of those achievements.
These achievements are opportunities to leverage in your strategic planning, but never automatically lead to new sales. The primary reason some manufactures fail to realize the full potential of those opportunities is that they don’t have a strategy to do so and they have not properly planned or positioned themselves to leverage those victories into sales.
How Manufacturers & Retailers Can Leverage Ws into Dollars
It is impossible to predict what specific product is going to win a tournament or be recognized with a New Product Showcase Award, but in order to capitalize on those opportunities you must be prepared for them.
Here are some tips to help you turn wins into sales:
- Have product stocked – There is nothing worse than winning on a product that you aren’t ready to sell. If you are months away from bringing your tournament/award winning prototype to market you are going to miss the first wave of opportunity. That doesn’t necessarily mean your ship has sailed, but be prepared to dump some money into content marketing to keep your brand and product top of mind and in front of consumers and wholesale buyers up to and through the time your product hits the shelves.
- Create Press Coverage – This is where having a Public Relations strategy (and partner) can really pay dividends. Not only is it important to put out a release and distribute it to the appropriate outdoor media (not just posting it on PR Newswire) to announce the good news, but you have to sell the story to the media. Have you been building relationships with reporters, bloggers, and vloggers? Being able to pitch a story to someone is much better than just putting out a release. It is advantageous to back up the first release with a series of releases that build on the first story and extend the life of the achievement. We’ve found it best to release news in conjunction with videos that tell the story in a compelling way to boost the chance that the news will be shared on social media.
- Advertise – A significant accomplishment like a Classic win or industry award, combined with some well written and properly distributed press releases can earn the winning brand a significant level of FREE editorial content. Adding, even a nominal, yet strategically placed, ad budget can help turn a small mention into a longer form, better placed piece of content.
- Ongoing Marketing – Leveraging a win into sales is not a one and done proposition. Milk it with marketing from every angle possible with a combination of digital, social media and traditional marketing. Don’t overlook event marketing opportunities including in-store promotions and appearances from Pro Anglers.
Dealers Can Cash In Too
Just because you aren’t the one who earned the accolades doesn’t mean you can’t capitalize on them. If you’re a dealer and you want to move some product, call your sales rep and ask them what they might do for you, such as offer special pricing on large orders, provide promotional materials or even send their pro-staff to your store for a promotion. Make sure you put up signs next to merchandise with awards that product has won and list tournament success. You should be able to speak to your products because the more you can tell the more you can sell.
When Strategy Meets Opportunity
We’ve all heard the saying, “I’d rather be lucky than good”. As strategic advisors we like to say, “Luck is when strategy meets opportunity”. Interpret that however you wish. The fact remains that we can not always predict when amazing opportunities are going to present themselves, but we can plan and strategize for them so that we are ready to maximize the value of those opportunities when they arise. Have your materials and messaging ready to go and have your team ready to spread the word, so that you can leverage good fortune into great revenue.