Aftermarket brand hones in on helping dealers
DragonFire has always been known for developing unique, must-have, premium accessories for ORVs. And while the brand has also created programs like store-in-store to help dealers move accessories, its expanding efforts to improve sales of its products within powersports dealerships, all the while growing its product line for consumers.
“At DragonFire, we’ve been hard at work, trying to develop new products, not only focusing on products that the consumer needs, but also having focus on dealer margin and some cost-saving measures where we can actually give the dealer a little more margin,” said Megan Dible, sales and marketing manager. “We’ve been focused on high turn, high margin products that work well for the dealer and the consumer.”
One such new line of products is DragonFire’s laser-etched LED switches for side-by-sides, which offer 40 points of margin for dealers and are expected to fly off parts counters.
DragonFire is looking at all aspects of its operations to bring solutions to better help dealers. “We’ve changed some of our packaging design to save some cost to the dealer. We just recently switched our seats from being packaged individually to being packaged in pairs, so therefore the dealer’s going to be saving on freight, and we were actually able to reduce the price by $10,” Dible explained. “We’re really focused on those types of things right now, trying to make sure that when we’re developing products and accessories that we’re doing it with the consumer in mind — so obviously the dealer can sell it — but also making sure the dealer does have some profit margin in there.”
DragonFire also continues to expand its store-in-store program, which encourages dealers to customize side-by-sides for display on their showroom floors.
“If dealers would accessorize the cars on the floor, there are a couple of effects that would happen. First of all, when the consumer came in, they saw a differentiated product. So when they walked in the store, there was a unit on the floor that they hadn’t seen anywhere else; it wasn’t just the same car that they saw at the other four or five dealerships in town. It was a differentiated unit; it had some different accessories on it that made it look different and also more appealing. The benefit of that was it actually moved that unit, but dealers also were able to sell the accessories off of that display car. So we saw that dealers who would do these build cars would actually see an increase in their parts and accessory sales because they actually had them out on the floor, displayed on a unit,” Dible reported.
DragonFire also added wall displays to the store-in-store program. The brand offers a menu of high-turn accessories that display well, so dealers can showcase them on a slat wall for consumers to touch and see outside of the box. Leaderboard displays are also offered, and custom graphics are available to dealers at certain buy-in levels. That program is continuing to grow this year and into next year.
“It makes a difference for the consumer,” Dible said. “It also makes a big difference for the people trying to sell the products, whether it’s the sales guy who’s selling the unit and trying to get the add-on, or it’s the parts guy that has a customer that comes in and says, ‘What about this?’ It really does give them the opportunity to touch it, feel it.”
At dealerships with the store-in-store customized vehicles on the floor, DragonFire has seen especially high sales of doors and bumpers. Dible pointed out that it’s interesting to watch as consumers interact with the accessorized units, pulling on the products to make sure they’re attached well and jumping on the nerf bars to make sure they’re authentic and not just for show.
DragonFire has been working to expand its reach and partner with more companies in recent years.
Nowhere will that be more visible than at the Sand Sports Super Show. At the Sept. 15-17 event in Costa Mesa, California, DragonFire’s presence will be hard to miss. “We’re going to have a couple cars on display; we’re going to have some new stuff that’s cool and exciting that we’ll introduce at the show,” Dible said.
In addition to the side-by-sides showcased within its own booth, DragonFire will also have other vehicles throughout the show floor featuring DragonFire accessories, including the QuadBoss and DragonFire Polaris Ranger 900 Crew and a Can-Am Maverick X3 MAX in the AudioFormz booth. The AudioFormz Maverick X3 MAX and the X3 two-seater in the DragonFire booth will be used to introduce DragonFire’s new line of X3 accessories to the public.
At the Sand Sports Super Show, DragonFire will be looking to grow relationships with other vendors, as well as gauge customer interest in current products and prototype products that will be unveiled in Costa Mesa.
Of course, DragonFire has other partnerships it’s nurturing. This past summer, the brand worked with Discovery Channel’s Diesel Brothers to customize a Polaris Ranger 1000 for Major League Baseball’s National League.
And, DragonFire announced in November that it was working with Can-Am for 2017 on Defender accessories. “We expect that that will continue to grow. The partnership so far has been great from a design aspect,” Dible said. “Working with an OE has been a little bit different just because they do have different requirements, but it’s been a great learning experience for us on a sales and marketing side as well as our engineering department to actually work with the OE and see what specifications and requirements they have. It helps us to elevate our game on our brands of products because these are the requirements that the OE has, and these would be good requirements for us to include as well.”
Looking into the future
As DragonFire looks toward the fall and winter season and into 2018, the brand plans to continue to enhance its marketing.
To that end, DragonFire recently hired Heath Zawilinski as a marketing specialist to work with MAG and Tucker Rocky’s corporate marketing team on digital advertising. DragonFire will also be shifting its brand image, as dealers and consumers will notice in upcoming ads.
“We’re looking to kind of differentiate our line a little bit, add a little bit more grit and raw, get back to those racing roots, where we’re a little bit more rugged and edgy, so those are some fun things that we’ve got going on. So look for some new advertising from us that’s got a little bit more edge to it,” Dible said.
Advertising will be important as Dible says DragonFire has a lot of new product coming. “We plan on expanding into new categories. We plan on doing refreshes of existing product lines. We’ve got plans to upgrade and add some additional features to products that we already offer,” she said. “We are solely focused throughout 2017 and into 2018 on new products. We want to make sure that we’re offering the best premium products to our consumer, but again, focused on that dealer to make sure that they’re profitable.”