The automotive market is the Cadillac Escalade of the promotional products industry: massive, and filled with $100 bills that spill out of it when you open the door (we're assuming this particular Escalade is driven by a mega-famous hip-hop artist). Or, in plainer terms: Selling to the automotive market can be ridiculously rewarding for distributors.
Much of that is due to America's nearly 200 million licensed drivers, all in need of air fresheners, license plate frames and hula-dancing dashboard figurines, among other vehicle-related products. But those are far from the only sales opportunities in the automotive market. According to the National Automobile Dealers Association, as of 2012, there were 17,540 automobile dealerships in the U.S.—an average of about 350 per state—and that doesn't include the untold number of used-car dealerships that dot strip malls nationwide.
Whatever the total number, dealerships represent a huge chunk of potential business for distributors. You just have to know how and what to sell—and for that, Gregg Emmer, chief marketing officer and vice president of Kaeser & Blair (K&B), Batavia, Ohio, had a suggestion: incentives. Read on as Emmer explains.
Print+Promo (P+P): Describe a promotion of yours that you consider one of K&B's best.
Gregg Emmer (GE): A Corvette dealership had gorgeous leather jackets done with the Corvette logo tastefully embroidered on them. They displayed Corvettes in the showroom with the jackets lying across the seats. When car shoppers asked about the jackets (most wanted to buy them) the salesman told them that they were only available to customers who purchased a car, and, in fact, they were a gift to the customer. Since competitors could match or beat the pricing, but not provide the jackets, this dealer increased sales and has continued to use the jackets as a premium.
P+P: What items were featured in this promotion, and what influenced that decision?