What did we learn from Huntex 2017? Successful businesses reflect and adjust their strategy. We listened to what the majority of Huntex visitor expectations were. More than 95% of customer feedback was around the expectation to buy product at discounts; or more specifically referred to as “Huntex Specials”.
The purpose of The Powder Keg at Huntex in 2017 was to expose the value of products that we represent exclusively in South Africa and to enlist dealer interest from around South Africa.
It can be concluded from our customer surveys that we were not aligned at Huntex 2017 with customer expectations. We have therefore decided to rather support dealer sales of our products at Huntex 2018 instead of ourselves promoting brands only.
At The Powder Keg we take every precaution to support our dealers and foster trust between the dealer and us. Product specials to customers (like at Huntex) must be made through our dealers, or as a minimum in full disclosure giving dealers equal opportunities to promote.
Huntex is primarily a forum for customers to shop and we respect that. Huntex is about exhibitor discounting. We have listened and adjusted. Our intentions of promoting brand value and not selling is an approach more suited to dealer trade shows than Huntex.
The Powder Keg is synonymous with “customers for life”. We did not sell gear at Huntex 2017 because we believed that buy decisions must be made in the appropriate environment, a place where product features and benefits can be demonstrated. For instance, we avoided selling Huglu shotguns at Huntex because in our opinion customers could not choose wisely between the different models in the hustle and bustle of full aisles.
There may be occasions where customers know exactly what they want and they visit Huntex to purchase the item from whoever gives the largest discount. In this instance we prefer to sell through a retail network because we understand channels to market and we value our business partners.
We found most Huntex purchases to be impulse purchases, based on perceived value of discounts offered. In order for us to be true to “customers for life” we put the real interest of customers first. This is the reason why at Huntex 2017 we encouraged buyers to first compare gear and then to visit The Powder Keg in order to make informed buy decisions.
An incident at Huntex 2017 that puts all of the above in perspective – “I am buying my first gun; what is your price on a 300 H&H Mauser M12?” After 3 minutes of discussion it was obvious that this person was being offered a discount by an exhibitor selling his slow moving inventory. We encouraged him to visit The Powder Keg in order to have a better chance of making an informed decision on his first firearm purchase.
The Powder Keg is different from others; we focused on lifestyle and not the selling of products. Everything we do is about giving customers a life long journey of enjoyment. It is not about how much we can sell but how we can get our customers enjoy their outdoors more.