Reaching Out To The Next Generation Of Customers | Performance Racing Industry
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Reaching Out To The Next Generation Of Customers
By Brett Kinsfather on June 1, 2015

Throughout much of my career, working at places like AutoMeter and K&N, I was typically the youngest guy in the room. Then, when I joined Motovicity Distribution about three years ago, I suddenly became one of the older guys.
 
It was to be expected, as Motovicity is a distributor focused on the sport compact and modern muscle markets—markets crawling with the ever appealing 18- to 34-year-old demographic.
 
After reality’s swift kick to the shin, I realized it’s actually pretty cool being the newly minted “older guy.” For one, I’m in a position to mentor—people actually listen to what I have to say! And second, I’ve gained a new perspective on being a first-time enthusiast, something that has helped me to better connect with the industry’s next generation of customers.
 
So, if you ever find yourself in a similar position, where understanding the next generation of builders, racers, tuners and business owners is beneficial, consider a few points that I’ve found to be particularly effective.

  1. Withhold judgment. It’s easy to see a group of young guys hanging out and showing off their cars that you couldn’t give a damn about. But just like watching a movie, try to suspend disbelief for just a few moments. Engage, talk, and LISTEN to what they have to say. Chances are that person is at least more knowledgeable that you may have thought.
  1. Look for common ground. Two years ago I attended the Japanese Classic Car Show (JCCS) in Long Beach, California. Not knowing what to expect and just getting into imports, I was shocked to see a bunch of things I knew all too well—engine swaps, primer finishes, exposed mechanicals, etc. Surrounded by old Toyotas, Hondas and Nissans, I saw the same craftsmanship and style that I’d seen at a number of Goodguys events and vintage races. Familiarity, as it were, comes in many forms.
  1. Build your own version. If you’re a drag racer, and you meet a kid who’s trying to drag race his Honda Civic, put yourself in his shoes and build his car utilizing your knowledge. If you take the time to do this, you’ll not only help him out, but you may just gain a customer who can grow with your business…not to mention your acceptance of something totally new to you.

Keeping the above in mind should help you to better identify with the next generation of enthusiasts and customers, but it will only take you so far. Never forget that most of us want the same things out of this industry, and we’re driven by similar, if not identical, types of motors. Remember that, and chances are you’ll have an easier time relating to each new generation of customer and enthusiast.
 
Brett Kinsfather is the marketing manager at Motovicity Distribution in Madison Heights, Michigan. His specialties include brand development and positioning, business and consumer promotions, event management, and email marketing, among others. Previously, Kinsfather was president of Naked Marketing, Inc., and has held sales and marketing positions within JC Whitney, K&N Engineering and Sigma Autosport. He can be reached at brett.kinsfather@motovicity.com.

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Brett Kinsfather is the marketing manager at Motovicity Distribution in Madison Heights, Michigan, with expertise in brand development and positioning, business and consumer promotions, event management, email marketing, and more.
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