By Karin Gelschus
In an effort to boost floor traffic and increase new unit sales, BRP has launched a massive open house event program to make it easier for dealers to promote their events and offer incentives to consumers.
The Ski-Doo Million Dollar Club Support program was originally only offered in Canada, but this year BRP also made it available to dealers throughout the United States. The company is donating $1 million to North American snowmobile clubs for trails, but in order for clubs to get their hands on that money, snowmobilers must bring coupons into their local dealership to be redeemed.
In addition to the coupons, BRP is encouraging its dealers to host open houses with a number of incentives, including rebates and snowmobile giveaways.
The program, which is expected to end the last day of November, has received positive response from the dealers, says Florian Burguet, Ski-Doo marketing manager. “The dealers are reacting well to that,” he said, “and they want to support their local clubs.”
After talking to a number of dealers, Burguet says BRP discovered dealers’ biggest obstacle was getting consumers into their stores.
“The traffic is a major issue,” he said. “We brainstormed with a group of dealers, and we came up with this national open house program. Most of the dealers already host open houses every year. The only thing we did was put some tools together for them.”
BRP created a Web platform for dealers to register their events, says Burguet. “They give a detailed description of their open house,” he said, “so exactly what they’re going to have at their store that day.”
Consumers can go to www.ski-doo.com/openhouse and find all the open house events near them by typing in their zip codes.
Danner Sales in Inver Grove Heights, Minn., registered its open house on the site and had a successful kick-off.
“Usually Thursdays are mediocre. Usually about now (late afternoon) it’ll get busy with people getting off work,” said Matt Gisch of Danner sales. “We actually picked a good week because it’s MEA (a school holiday) in Minnesota, so there are lots of people with the day off, so it started right at 8 this morning.”
In years past, Danner Sales has hosted its open house later, but Patti Danner, office manager, says they found it wasn’t early enough.
“Normally we’ve done it later in October, but that was getting too late into the season,” she said. “People are ready to shop earlier, so we moved it up.”
The decision proved to be a good one as early snow in Minnesota brought customers into the dealership earlier than previous years, says Danner.
Along with the open houses, BRP is supporting snowmobile clubs nationwide. The Million Dollar Club program is putting $10 coupons in most snowmobile magazines and online at www.ski-doo.com for snowmobilers to bring into their local dealerships. When redeemed, the $10 will go to whichever snowmobile club they belong to.
Burguet says the coupons will help get
people in a snowmobiling mindset.
“The reason this program is powerful is because we basically give an excuse for customers to connect with the dealers,” he said. “In the fall, people are buying a lot of parts. This will bring people into the dealerships, and it pushes the dealership to get in touch with the local club and the local club will sell trail access.”
The coupons have brought in additional floor traffic into Danner Sales, says Gisch, but the sales hadn’t come yet on the first day.
“With the club coupons, they come in, lounge around and then leave, but it still gets them in the door,” he noted and added they hadn’t yet tallied how many coupons had been turned in.
To help get snowmobilers in dealerships’ doors, Ski-Doo is financially assisting dealers with advertising for their events more so than usual. Burguet says Ski-Doo usually pays about 50 percent for its co-op programs, but for the open house program, the company is absorbing 70 percent.
“They have many tools to make it happen,” Burguet said of the events. “We give them tools like personalized postcard invites, and they have the option to personalize the postcard online as well.”
BRP is offering a number of incentives for snowmobilers to visit their local dealerships.
In addition to the $10 coupons for local snowmobile clubs, Ski-Doo will give a Ski-Doo MX A or Summit for the top club in each of the following regions: Canada East (east of Ontario); Canada West (Ontario and west); USA East (the Dakotas and east); USA West (west of the Dakotas).
Ski-Doo also is offering yellow tag rebates, which gives consumers up to $1,500 on 2008 and 2009 models.