K2 revolutionized the inline skate industry with the introduction of SoftBoot® technology in 1994.
"So many brands are competing for consumer recognition today," says Steve Johnson, marketing director for K2 Inline Skates, based in Toronto, Canada. "Although we knew we were producing the very best in-line skates in the world, the challenge was really to get skaters to take notice."
We wanted to give skaters an opportunity to try out our skates and see for themselves how much more comfortable K2 inline skates are, and I recognized that a traveling format was a great way to get inside the market.
Says Johnson, "After looking at all of the options, I decided to steer the program in the direction of a van and trailer combination. We investigated stock trailers and realized that they weren't suited to our needs, so we started designing our own. Then I found Mobilexhibit on the Internet. I knew right away that I'd found the vehicle we were looking for.
"Once we had the concepts complete, the Mobilexhibit plant began turning out trailers our at the rate of one per week. We instituted a training program for our on-the-road ambassadors to familiarize them with the trailer handling and product line presentations."
When K2 took delivery of the very first trailer, the reaction was unmitigated: "Major WOW effect!"
K2's 10 trailer and van combinations each travel with a minimum of 60 pairs of loaner skates, helmets and safety equipment, a complete product line display, sound system, chairs for skaters to use while fitting their skates, a table for the skate loan transaction, brochures, and spare parts.
Each unit is manned by a K2 ambassador, augmented where possible by one or more representatives from the participating local retailer.
"Once consumers learn what makes K2 inline skates different (and we are different!), they're more likely to choose K2 skates," says Johnson.
The K2 On the Road program is promoted locally by participating retailers and a full itinerary by region is available at the K2 website, www.k2skates.com.
Our retailers have been very enthusiastic about the program. The free clinics give us an opportunity to meet and talk to our customers directly.
"Wherever the trailers go, the response is fantastic. If there's a competitor's demo at the same event, it can't hold a candle to the K2 trailers and usually hightails it when we start setting up. We're blowing the competition right out of the water!"
K2 Inc. is an international, branded consumer products company with a diversified portfolio of individual sports products providing out customers with innovative products geared to the K2 lifestyles. These products include:
- High performance, premium priced products with innovative features for the enthusiast
- Broadly distributed outdoor recreational products sold at more popular price points
- Alternative sports products for a rapidly growing group of younger consumers
For additional information, visit www.k2skates.com or call the company's toll-free customer information number at 1-877-393-5953.
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