I stopped into a Harley dealership over the weekend to go drool over a future purchase (probably distant future…but a guy can dream right??). While checking out some of the used inventory, I came back to find my Dad talking with a couple guys drinking some of the dealership’s complimentary beer (it was a Saturday, and if you haven’t been to a Harley dealer on a Saturday you’re missing out on another level of brilliant marketing).
As it turns out, they were good friends from my father’s previous career. They had traveled 4 hours each to meet up in Omaha (score another one for Harley) just to come kick around town. Both had recently purchased bikes but one of the men had just purchased his first. For those not familiar with the dangers of riding a motorcycle, the man with the new bike was in desperate need of a Gremlin Bell to ward off these evil little creatures who put objects in your way while you’re casually cruising down the road (read the full story HERE, it’s actually pretty good).
It made me smile just a bit at the brilliance of the whole scheme… I instantly had visions of a corporate office where people are manufacturing stories and cheap Chinese trinkets to go along with it, the only thing they’re in need of is a loyal and passionate group of people who are ready to sneeze this marketing ploy all over their friends.
This kind of a trickery is generally reserved for children with brainwashed parents…a specifically vulnerable segment of the market that will eventually give into whatever their kids are begging for. Comic Books, Decoder Rings, Garbage Pail Kids, POGS, Tamagotchi Pets and most recently (and likely one of the more novel ideas of the holiday season) Elf on a Shelf.
These aren’t children though….these are burly bikers with tattoos, piercings and probably weapons. Someone had the gall to believe they could sell them bells….and even get them to PURCHASE THEM FOR THEIR FRIENDS!!!! (My biker uncle insisted that I have one when I purchased my last bike a few years back….and I’m totally in on it!)
I don’t know what I’m doing with my life right now, but I can tell you what I’m looking for….an affinity group, a creative story and 10 million cheap trinkets that I can sell for $10-15 a pop!