Back in September 2003, I wrote about the Driveway Effect and suggested that story-tellers (marketers) look for ways to engage their customers "just a little bit longer."
I recently had the opportunity to share lunch with a friend at a place in Nashville that takes this concept to the ultimate extreme. My friend invited me to have lunch IN a Harley Davidson dealer's showroom.
Boswell's is one of the oldest Harley shops in the country. The place is packed with gorgeous motorcycles and all the assorted paraphernalia that goes with the Harley lifestyle. What sets them apart is the incredible lunch counter they've shoe-horned into a side room. On any given day, the place is jammed with people waiting for tables. While they wait, friendly sales people engage them in conversation about the bikes.
It is one of the strangest and most organic sales environment I have ever seen. It's different and it just makes sense. I went in expecting a good lunch and came out having spent about 20 minutes talking to a salesman about how cool it would be to own a Harley.
I have no hard evidence, but I'll bet these guys sell bikes to a bunch of first-time owners.
My only suggestion to them would be to find a way to collect names of folks who visit and use that to follow up. They could even hide behind a "Birthday Club" at the lunch counter as a way to establish long-term relationships with potential buyers.