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Boating is not just for the rich

At the Miami International Boat Show earlier this month, NMMA president Thom Dammrich shared an interesting fact during his State of the Industry address. He noted that the majority of boat owners make less than $100,000 a year, so boating is not just for the rich.

Somehow that message needs to be better spread among the general public.

For the March issue of Trade Only I wrote a story about how to market luxury items in a lackluster economy. I purposely sought out marketing experts from outside the industry so I could gather some fresh ideas.

All the marketing professionals I spoke with shared some great tips. However, when they heard the words “boat” and “luxury” in the same sentence, most of them assumed I was talking about selling multi-million dollar yachts to the ultra-rich. I had to explain that to a middle class family, even a 20-foot runabout is considered a luxury item. And according to industry reports, it’s the manufacturers of the smaller boats who are really suffering now.

What can the industry do to shed this image once and for all that boating is only for the rich?

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