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Product Data: If You Build It, Sales Will Come

Think of it as the selling Field of Dreams. Much like the enthralling Kevin Costner movie, it all starts with a lot of convincing, believing and perhaps a small leap of faith as you struggle to understand this challenging new requirement. This uncertain phase is followed by a period of ups and downs, ultimately creating some hard work that, at times, can feel like a hopelessly endless task. But man, oh, man: When you finally get to play, it’s suddenly all worth it!I can’t stress enough how an ongoing regimen of product data gathering, expanding and quality control is critical to the success of your business. Own the process, understand its importance and seek help when you get confused or sidetracked.

SEMA News—December 2013

BUSINESS
By Jon Wyly

Product Packaging

It’s All Wrapped Up in Protection, Branding, Economics and the EnvironmentA package for an automotive product serves multiple purposes, the most important of which is protection. Whether a package contains highly durable grade-8 fasteners or a fragile electronic tuning device, its main mission is to get the product to the end user in pristine condition. But a package can also serve sales functions, provide branding and inform consumers about an entire product line. “Our products can be expensive,” said Joe Dussol, marketing director for Powerteq, which is the parent company of Superchips and Edge Products. “Depending on the product, some people might spend $600–$1,000, and we want the customer to feel like he’s holding something worth that kind of money when he picks up our package. That’s why our packaging might be a little bit more costly than doing a cardboard box with some print on it, but we really want it to stand out.”

SEMA News—December 2013

BEST PRACTICES
By Steve Campbell

Product Packaging

It’s All Wrapped Up in Protection, Branding, Economics and the Environment

Selecting a Public Relations Agency

Matching Companies With MarketingGetting products in front of potential customers is the lifeblood of marketing. Whether through straightforward advertising placed in pertinent outlets or through creative ventures handled by public relations (PR) agencies, getting the word out is key.We included an article on best practices for selecting an ad agency in our February 2013 issue (“Finding the Right Advertising Agency,” p. 60), and this month, we’re taking a look at selecting a PR firm.

SEMA News—October 2013

BEST PRACTICES
By Steve Campbell

Selecting a Public Relations Agency

Matching Companies With Marketing

Retailer Spotlight

Evasive Motorsports Builds e-Commerce Through Event ParticipationWhat does it mean to be brick-and-mortar in the modern aftermarket business scene? Does it mean having a shop with a traditional storefront filled with inventory and displays to attract walk-in clients? Or does it mean a building stocked with inventory, with items often previewed or even ordered online, with a simple reception counter for a cadre of customers who come through the door to pick up and install those items? And what about having a full-service shop for building and tuning cars, complete with two-post lifts, fabrication facilities and a dynamometer?

SEMA News—October 2013

BUSINESS
By Mike Imlay

Retailer Spotlight

Evasive Motorsports Builds e-Commerce Through Event Participation

Retailer Spotlight

ModBargains.com Delivers Data, Product and MoreA generation ago, mail-order entrepreneurs transformed the specialty-equipment industry by leveraging enthusiast print media to inform and market to the masses. Today, a new generation of pioneers is doing it again—this time through the Internet and social media. ModBargains.com is a case in point.Located in La Habra, California, the company was co-founded in 2004 by CEO Mike Brown, then 19, and President Ron Hay, then 24. Their original business plan called for a sort of online clearinghouse of special automotive parts promotions and deals similar to those offered by tech-industry bargain sites. But the venture quickly morphed into something much bigger—and better.

SEMA News—September 2013

BUSINESS
By Mike Imlay

Retailer Spotlight

ModBargains.com Delivers Data, Product and More

Confused About the New Health Care Law?

SEMA members need to know…The “Affordable Care Act” continues to sow confusion for many SEMA members. To follow is a concise summary of the law’s key provisions and timetables for implementation.

SEMA News—September 2013

Confused About the New Health Care Law?

SEMA members need to know…

The “Affordable Care Act” continues to sow confusion for many SEMA members. To follow is a concise summary of the law’s key provisions and timetables for implementation.

When did “Obamacare” take effect?

SEMA Indicators

A Look at Specialty-Equipment and Automotive Market SignpostsThe search for marketplace information is never-ending. As the economy fluctuates, new technologies emerge and changing tastes shape sales, savvy industry professionals constantly look for indicators that will aid them in making business decisions based on more than mere supposition. While no one can accurately and consistently predict the course of things, knowing which way we’re going can confirm whether we’re facing a sunset or the dawn.

SEMA News—August 2013

BUSINESS
By Steve Campbell

SEMA Indicators

A Look at Specialty-Equipment and Automotive Market Signposts

Insuring Specialty Vehicles

How to Cover the Basics and More Whether they be OEM “dollar vehicles” or shop display cars, the aftermarket loves to promote itself through project builds and other collectible autos. Many retailers or garages will have one or more in the lot or showroom to wow customers. Manufacturers, of course, use them to showcase products at consumer automotive events and trade shows. At the annual SEMA Show, you’ll scarcely find a booth without one.Build vehicles are valuable commodities, so whether your business keeps them on display at the shop or takes them on the road to tout your brand, you’ll want to have them properly insured. Yet, adequately covering them can be complicated.

SEMA News—July 2013

BUSINESS
By Mike Imlay

Insuring Specialty Vehicles

How to Cover the Basics and More

Car-Care 101

Evolving Trends and Modern Technology Keep Product Manufacturers on Their ToesAnyone who has ever walked into a retail store knows that the number of car-care options available can be overwhelming, even to the most hardcore car guy. It’s not much easier for the product manufacturer, either. Paints are getting harder and more durable, so car-care developers have to reformulate their products to keep up with constantly evolving technology.Car care encompasses a wide range of surfaces, from paint to wheels and tires. Each offers several material options, such as clear coat vs. matte and chrome vs. aluminum. There are literally hundreds of products specifically designed for each type

SEMA News—July 2013

BUSINESS
By Chad Simon

Car-Care 101

Evolving Trends and Modern Technology Keep Product Manufacturers on Their Toes

Manufacturing Reps 101

Why and How to Hire the BestLet’s say you’ve launched a start-up company and are ready to sell your first line (or lines) of new product. Or perhaps you are a small to medium manufacturer looking to take sales to a whole new level. Or maybe you head the marketing department of a company in need of growing its sales force. In each case, you’re likely considering the ability of a manufacturer’s rep to help you reach your goals. If so, you won’t be the first who employed the services of an expert to gain entry to key markets and increase sales of established lines.

SEMA News—June 2013

BUSINESS
By Mike Imlay

Manufacturing Reps 101

Why and How to Hire the Best

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