Motorcycle expert witness with Over 40 Years Powersports Industry Experience

motorcycle forensics expert
motorcycle forensics expert


Apparently the secret to successful organic farming
is proper fertilizer. Can the same be true of growing
more customers? Somehow “Organic Retailing” just
sounds wrong! But the concept is catching on in all sorts of
shopping venues. Rather than baffling them with technical
BS, words like local, artisanal, handcrafted, made-toorder,
personalized and of course, the overused “organic”
are now more popular than ever before. And it’s not just
Baby Boomers swinging away from the sterile, cookiecutter
franchised retailers — its’ younger buyers, too. Local
businesses seem to be making a comeback as a pushback
to the crap being presented by the omnipresent MASS
market retailers.
A previous column of mine referred to the “sea of
sameness” making up the shopping experience — both in
the powersports arena and general retail. Since it is all the
same out there, why not shop on the impersonal Internet
Apply this concept to your dealership as you read this
article: Do you or anyone in your family shop at the weekly
Farmer’s Market? How about boutique apparel stores? Local
restaurants instead of nationally franchised chains? Craft
beer halls in place of Bud Lite-serving sports bars? Big golf
courses vs. funky, fun local ones? See what I mean? Things
are changing and choices are coming as the pendulum of
life begins to swing in the opposite direction.
Gen X and Millennials seem to be shying away from the
traditional brick-and-mortar dealership experience in favor
of finding an old Honda CB550 on Craigslist and restoring it.
New unit sales are flat — maybe there is a reason? Perhaps
America is burned out on the same old retail formula which
worked on the “masses” for the past three decades? Maybe
we want to be treated as individuals once again rather than
members of the cytoplasmic blob of mindless shoppers
controlled by overly-creative marketers.
I am sure you seen or heard of the new trends in pizza
parlors? Make your own! Chipotle’s Mexican-themed
menu allowing you to “invest” in your own personalized
meal was a home run in the west. Ditto for Slater’s 50/50
Burgers (.com) offering a choice of more than 150 ways to
size, cheese or top your own burger… plus there is even
the option of a gluten-free bun for wheat-shunners like me.
Now that’s customized eating! and have offered personalized shoes
online for nearly 15 years. Oakley still does it too on their
Factory Custom website. Lucky Jeans stores are standouts by
creating great, organic venues and personalized shopping
experiences centered around vintage T-shirts and stretchy,
faded jeans… ironically located inside the sanitized malls
of America. How can your dealership become a more fun
place to shop, more customer-personalized and individualspecific?
It has been said we are entering the age of “no customers.”
To interpret this powerful quote, you need to erase your
previous concept of multiple customers (plural). There is
only one customer — the one standing in front of you! He
is the most important person in your retailing life at that
moment because you only have one shot to make him a
return customer rather than a runaway customer.
If you offer some personalized services which make
customers feel special about shopping at your store,
they will likely return because of their “blown away” first
impression. If you are simply toeing the retail line and
attempting to keep up with the Jones’ dealership across
town, you have lowered yourself to everyone else’s level of
retailing. No wonder your floor traffic is down!
Call it hip, hot or hilarious, it’s so much more fun to
shop when surrounded by something new (or old) and
unique! It might be a small movement now, but why not
be on the leading edge of what’s going mainstream? The
pendulum for recreational shopping is swinging away
from “big and glitzy”— the trend now is to place retail
venues in older, restored buildings with a local story.
Retail is being repurposed just like that vintage CB550
with modern tires, electronic ignition and a comfortable
seat. Old movie theaters, citrus packing houses, barns,
car dealerships, churches and former fire stations are all
getting fun and funky remodels and new facades to bring
out their individuality. Tan stucco, antiseptic floorplans
and fluorescent lighting at

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