If you read this blog regularly, you know I believe strongly in our industry’s Discover Boating national campaign. And the launching last week of “Stories of Discovery” just adds to my enthusiasm.
Who better to convince others about the enjoyment derived from the boating lifestyle? After all, every boater has a story. Moreover, boaters love to talk about how they got started in boating (just ask me if you’ve got an hour).
“These documentaries celebrate the joy of boating,” Grow Boating chairman Joe Lewis says. “The real boaters featured have inspiring stories that tell how boating positively impacted their lives. They're compelling and powerful. And it’s another step in addressing our biggest challenge — reaching a larger audience for boating.”
The debut features three different videos. First, country music star and singer-songwriter Jake Owen shares his passion for being on his boat, what it does for him and why it’s an important part of his life style.
Second, Justin Caskey, a cancer survivor and amputee, tells viewers why he loves to wakeboard – yes, wakeboard. Where there's a wake, there's a way could be his motto. “How can you not be happy when you’re out on the water,” Caskey asks?
Finally, while the Jake Owen fan base will likely make his boating video the most popular, it’s the Adler family story that touches the heart of boating. Filmed in Washington, the Adlers describe the genuine sense of family their boat brings. Speaking about their choice of a boat (Grand Banks 32), Mr. Adler shares: “It’s an investment in creating memories you can’t make any other way. Experiences that will always be with me and, hopefully, with Anderson and August (the Alder’s young sons).”
My opinion: the Adler video is the best video since the Discover Boating campaign produced the award-winning “Good Run” several years ago. But I urge you to see and judge for yourself. Just go to www.discoverboating.com and click on “Stories of Discovery.” In addition, if you have a social media network, these are definitely worth sharing with your friends, customer base and so on.
* * *
Consumer spending rose in March at the fastest pace in nearly five years. It’s strong evidence that the U.S. economy gained strength (despite the GNP of 0.1 percent), even during the never-ending winter from hell. According to the Commerce Department, personal consumption surged a seasonally adjusted 0.9 percent from February. It’s largest gain since August 2009.
Meanwhile, the Leading Economic Index increased 0.8 percent in March, extending February’s 0.5 percent gain, according to the Conference Board. This was the fastest pace since November and indicates a growing economy in the coming months. Similarly, the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters reported that consumer confidence rose to its highest point since July 2013, up from 80.0 in March to 84.1 in April.
Finally, according to Edmonds and TrueCar.com, auto sales were running on a pace to rise and expected 9 percent for April over a year ago. The forecasters believe the warmer weather finally brought out more shoppers who just stayed home during the winter weather.
All good news because boating, historically, gets a share of increases in consumer spending, and certainly the harshest winter in memory kept boaters away from dealer showrooms. It means our sales teams should be ready for May to be a good month.