Brain Waves2020-12-09T21:26:22+00:00

This blog focuses on issues pertaining to the boating, recreation and durables industries and on how to utilize customer data to make important business decisions.

Increasing Boater Retention

My friend Merrill Charette, founder of ShipShape, recently posted an excellent article on LinkedIn and asked the question how to increase boater retention.  Because my response was rather lengthy and would not fit within a standard LinkedIn post, I decided to post an article instead. The short answer is there is no simple solution to increasing boater retention.  The reasons some leave are varied and are often due to things that are beyond the control of the boating industry.  However, like so many other products and services, it all comes down to delivering value.  That is, are the benefits [...]

Being Intentional About Innovation

When was the last time you rented a video from Blockbuster or saw someone riding a Kawasaki Jet Ski? These are examples of previous industry leaders that have gone the way of the Dodo bird due to a lack of innovation. While most business leaders recognize the importance of innovation, many organizations are not very good at it. In fact, according to a McKinsey report, 84% of executives agreed that innovation is important to their growth strategy, but only 6% were satisfied with innovation performance. Why is this the case? While there are many factors that contribute to a [...]

Delivering Value (and why it is especially important now)

According to a recent McKinsey & Company report, consumers are increasingly looking for value and are often switching brands given the record-high inflation and concerns about a recession.  Should manufacturers and dealers take note? Defining Value When people think of “value buyers”, it is often a euphemism for price sensitive shoppers who favor low-priced brand.  That is not what we are talking about here.   In over three decades of doing research, it is fairly uncommon for shoppers to tell me that they selected a given brand because it was the highest quality without regard to price.  It is equally unlikely [...]

Why Boaters Buy – Insights from a Recent Industry Study

For marketers of high ticket/low incidence products such as boats, two key challenges are identifying who is likely to buy your product category and when they are likely to do so.  Knowing this can help you to efficiently reach your target customers.  In this article, I explore insights from a recent industry study to help with the second of these challenges. Top Purchase Triggers As part of the “Enhancing the Boat Ownership Experience" study, we asked boaters why they purchased their boat when they did.  Information from 437 boaters who purchased a boat during the 2020 calendar year (during the [...]

Enhancing the Dealer Purchase Experience

Additional Insights from a Recent Industry Study. The last couple of years have been a sales bonanza for the boating industry as manufacturers and dealers have been able to sell nearly all they could handle. However, these days will not last and it is important now to prepare for more challenging days ahead. One key way to do this is to be sure you are treating your current customers well. This is especially important given that 70% or more of boat sales each year are to prior boat owners. In a recent industry webinar, I explained the drivers of satisfaction [...]

Enhancing the Boat Ownership Experience – Industry Webinar

The covid pandemic was a boom for boat sales but how do we keep people in boating?  This was the fundamental question to be addressed in a major industry study conducted by Left Brain Marketing on behalf of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, the Marine Retailers Association of America and Discover Boating. Listen to this webinar to learn ... How satisfaction and the likelihood of remaining in boating differs between first time and experienced boaters? What can dealers do to enhance the boat buying experience? What are the main frustrations with dealer maintenance and service work?  And, what are [...]

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