I drive by one of the local Harley Davidson dealerships every day on the way to work, and the big LED sign out front of their shop usually has variants of three types of messages:
- Learn To Ride
- Big Sale
- Concert / Event / Etc. Coming Soon
We’ll deal with the concert/events part of this at a later date, but note that only one of those advertisements has anything to do with actually SELLING Harley Davidson motorcycles. The “Learn To Ride” special is the most interesting to me, because if you buy a motorcycle, you buy a thing. If you learn how to USE your motorcycle, you’re buying into a lifestyle.
Think that this is something that gun ranges could learn from? I do.
Also, note how they describe their training class: It’s not “Open Road Riding Level One,” it’s “Learn To Ride.” They don’t try and confuse the consumer who’s trying something new and unknown with a bunch of buzzwords and cool-sounding details, all they say is “Learn To Ride.”
People are buying handguns because they’re scared, and we augment that nervousness with class names like “Tactical Handgun Operator Level I”.
Does a single mother with an abusive boyfriend REALLY want to take that class?
What would happen if every range in the country divided up their handgun classes into simple, related course names like “Learn to Shoot,” “Learn To Shoot Better” and “Learn To Shoot Really Well”?
Keep it simple, stupid.
Update: On Facebook, my friend and fellow
Zero Hero Alf makes a terrific point: The really successful companies sell more than just product. 7/11 for instance, sells us stuff, but HOW they sell it provides us with more time do other things in our lives.
What is the value add for a gun store in our lives? What do they offer us besides selling us guns?