Last last year I attended a 4WD course put on by Land Rover of San Diego.This is a course that the Land Rover group mandates that their distributors offer to their clients on an annual basis. In fact there is penalties if the distributor does not run the courses. I’m sure the thinking is to really show the customers how extreme Land Rovers and Range Rovers are firsthand. Not that most people would normally push their vehicles to the extremes we did on the day.
What impressed me about this particular day was how well it was organised. Not only was the course superbly made to really test out the vehicles, but attention to a lot of little things really made the day special.
The event was run at Lion Tigers and Bears* at Alpine CA, a worthy organisation in itself and an ideal setting that fits in with the theme of the rough & rugged image of Land Rover.
On arrival, each guest signed in, received a gift certificate for a free car wash (great idea considering what we were about to put our cars through), offered a full buffet lunch adjoining the cages of lions, tigers and bears - very cool location for lunch.
For the first run through the course an instructor sat in the passenger seat to show you the lines to take through the obstacles and what off-road settings to use. After it was a free for all, you could keep doing laps of the track on a never ending loop.
As an extra add in, Mani Teo of the San Diego Chargers came along to meet and greet people. Nothing like being able to throw in a little celebrity touch.
Professional photographers were hired to take pictures on the day, each guest was given a physical copy in a cardboard frame at the end of the day. If the aim was to build brand ambassadors and customer loyalty then it was a success.
So this was a great day, full of fun and excitement, but as a marketer I thought there was some great opportunities missed, particularly in the area of social media.
1) Instantly share photo’s etc online - the opportunity is not only to market towards existing customers and let them filter out their experience to others, but through social media platforms like facebook you could achieve a great spread. Half of all adult users on Facebook have 200+ friends, who wouldn’t want to show off some of the extreme things your car can do. This is a personal/fun activity - these are the types of events friends like to know about, comment, like and share.
2) Watermark your logo on the photo’s - the client just received a fantastic experience, they are getting images from professional photographers for free, they would have no problem if the images where watermarked with Land Rover San Diego. In fact Land Rover’s fall into the LoveMark category - so the logo is actually beneficial add on for the client. Also makes their off-roading look somewhat professional.
4) A physical gift on the day - make sure they customer remember’s the day regularly. The cost of the event must be amortised over time to get great value. Give the client a relevant promotional item to remember the day (brand the date, location and give the event a name and also potentially have a flow on effect to their friends. IN the case of Land Rover I would look for items like Travel Mugs, Car Kits, Outdoor Items like picnic sets etc.
*Lions Tigers & Bears is a federally and state licensed non-profit 501(c)(3) rescue facility dedicated to providing a safe haven for unwanted and abused Big Cats and other exotic animals