July 11, 2011 – Kawasaki promotion creating good times

Kawasaki’s “Good Times Sales Event” promotion will give away product that’s unprecedented for an OEM. Consider these numbers:

  • Four grand prize giveaways of 2011 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero cruisers.
  • 820 participating dealers will hold drawings in which a winner will claim the prize of his or her choice — a 2011 Ninja 250R sportbike or a Bayou 250 ATV.
  • Then there’s the chance to win a coupon for $250 off any Kawasaki vehicle over 249cc, 15 percent off any Kawasaki accessory, or 10 percent off Kawasaki dealer service.

    More than 115,000 certificates for free Green Day music downloads and Monster Energy Drink buy-one-get-one-free coupons also will be given away.

    The intriguing aspect for dealers is that customers must bring their game pieces into the participating dealership to see if they’ve won. More than 3.2 million game pieces will have been distributed by the contest’s close at the end of July.

    Kawasaki is sending game pieces via direct mail and to those who request a game piece online. Dealers also send game pieces to their customer database.

    Of the 1,400 independent Kawasaki retailers, more than half are participating. Powersports Business took a look inside the promotion with the help of Jeff Chapman, general manager of Kelly’s Kawasaki in Mesa, Ariz., and Arizona Kawasaki in Apache Junction.

    PSB: Were you at all hesitant to sign up for this particular promotion?
    Chapman: Not at all. I was all on board from the beginning. We have two dealerships and I signed them both up as soon as I heard about it.

    PSB: What did you like about it?
    Chapman: The fact that it’s going to drive quite a bit of traffic to the door that we might not have seen before the promotion. We started seeing people right away after the contest started in April.

    PSB: You could pick to give away the bike or the ATV. Why did you choose the Ninja?
    Chapman: Both stores are doing the Ninja. It’s the hottest product out on the market right now, so if the plan is going to be to drive people to the dealership, of course you’re going to want to use the hottest thing you can to get them interested.


    PSB: Have you noticed any particular demographic bringing in the game pieces to get scanned?
    Chapman: It’s all over the board on this one, which is fantastic. That’s what you’re trying to accomplish. You get a list of participants, so you can take that and compare it to your dealership customer list to see if you’re bringing in new people, old people. Its been bringing in quite a lot of new people, which is fantastic, because you’re looking at somebody you might not have gotten to look at before.

    PSB: Do you get people coming who ask ‘Where’s the scanner? What did I win?’ or are people interested in the product?
    Chapman: Most of them, if they’re taking the time to do it, they want to learn more about the product, which is nice. Of course, you’re always going to get your few here and there to come in to see if they’ve won something. But if you get a fresh customer in your door, you’re introducing yourself to new clientele. You can sell them other things besides the machines.

    PSB: How do customers react after their card has been scanned?
    Chapman: Normally after they find out if they’ve won or not, they spend another 10-15 minutes in the store going through the product. Hopefully we’re getting them excited enough to buy it.

    PSB: Since it’s attracting a variety of people, do you see some riders who have opted for a different brand?
    Chapman: We’re getting people in here who ride other brands who might not have ever even looked at a Kawasaki that are now looking at our product. That’s exactly what you’re trying to do with a program like this — give guys a reason to come into the store, and once they’re here, they realize they need something. Or they look around and find something that they like that they might not have seen before.

    PSB: How do you plan to announce your winner?
    Chapman: We’re going to do an open house and promote it heavily. The whole idea behind the program is to push people to the dealership. They’ve done a great job with that.

    PSB: Have you seen much interest from customers wanting to win the Vaquero at your dealership?
    Chapman: That part of the program has actually brought a lot of the cruiser guys in who don’t ride our brand, which I thought was very interesting. That bike has a lot of appeal to it.

    PSB: What does a promotion like this do for your overall business conditions?
    Chapman: Business has slowed down here like it has everywhere. That’s why it’s nice that they’re doing a promotion like this. It gets you customers in the door. Kawasaki’s been on the gas. They’re definitely on the gas, and their market share shows that. They put programs out there and they stick with them. You can always guarantee that they’re going to be there backing you. Being a dealer, that’s huge.

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