Editor’s note: This article went to press coincident with the merger of APSP and NSPF into the...
Steam is rising from the portable hot tub industry. It was another generous year in spa sales: 88...
After 17 years serving as the face of Tara Manufacturing, Ron Shults, the company's vice president of sales,...
The best marketing campaigns mesh your brand and the message you're trying to promote in a memorable way. For pool and spa retailers, “fun” is key to getting and keeping a customer’s attention — and we discovered a retailer that completely nails it.
Each week, the staff at Fox Pools & Spas of Hendersonville, Tenn., release a video called the “Tuesday Tip.” Each video is a whimsical, comic look at the personalities that work at the company, but also informative, as each ends in a helpful bit of advice from the team about pool and spa care. It's a little bit of "The Office" mixed with "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" — with a pool store twist.
For example, the first episode of Season 2 (videos are broken up into “seasons” that correspond to the pool season, which is a nice touch), we watch the team rapidly get the store ready for pool season. Toward the end, Brandon Windsor, Fox Pools' online manager, offers a timely bit of advice about when to open the pool:
We chatted with Windsor to learn more about these awesome videos.
AQUA: When did you guys start doing the Tuesday Tip and why?
BW: We made a deliberate decision last pool season to get serious about using social media channels as a way to introduce ourselves to potential customers and stay connected and engaged with our current customers. We began doing the Tuesday Tip in April 2014.
A small, family-owned business can very easily become lost in the shuffle as customers turn to the Internet and big box retailers for their pool supplies. One of our objectives with the Tuesday Tip was to help demonstrate what sets us apart from those other places — our knowledge and expertise.
Last season we tried several Tuesday Tips that were just me giving the advice directly into the camera. Those early tips did ok, but there wasn’t a lot of reaction from customers. We decided to try a little something different several episodes in and that was to add some sort of storyline. That’s when things got interesting and slightly more difficult.
The reaction to an “entertaining” Tuesday Tip was phenomenal. We started having customers in our store commenting on events that happened in a previous Tuesday Tip or telling us how much they enjoyed watching them. The only difficulty was coming up with ideas for the storyline and finding time during the busy pool season to actually film the action!
AQUA: Pool season can get so busy — how do you make time for these videos?
BW: We’ve tried to overcome those challenges by remaining several weeks ahead both in the planning and execution of this season’s Tips — and so far, so good. (Fingers crossed!)
AQUA: How long do they take to create each week?
BW: If everything goes as planned, I can have a video done in two days. It only takes two days because I shoot one day and edit another. I could get one done in an afternoon if I had to. We try to set aside an hour each week where the employees involved in that particular video will be available to do their part of the shoot. As with everything in the pool business, weather can sometimes cause long delays so sometimes you have to be creative to work around it. Then I will spend around one to two hours of my time editing the video and uploading it to Youtube and Facebook.
AQUA: How has season two been going so far?
BW: This season, I’ve already received several phone calls from some of our regulars complimenting the episodes and telling us to keep it up. We are also seeing a significant increase in views compared to last season, particularly on Facebook, for each episode. So people are watching.
AQUA: What kind of advice makes a good Tuesday Tip?
BW: For the most part, we have focused on pool chemical advice, but I would think you could expand the tips to any area of expertise. We began by compiling a list of the most frequently asked questions by our customers in our water lab. We hold multiple pool schools for our customers each season and also use some of the basic pool care topics covered there.
Over the past year, the Manufacturers Council has focused on the industry's inability to attract and retain good employees at the dealer level. Listening to these discussions led me to a moment of pause. After reflecting upon the dealers with whom I have enjoyed long-standing relationships, it occurred to me that they were now, or would soon be, entering the twilight of their careers. A look in the mirror further revealed that I no longer had a full head of hair, and that which remained...
Editor's Note: As of this article's online publication, the KFC Hot Tub campaign has closed. It surpassed its campaign goal of $46,683 to raise a total of $53,909. The hot tub is available to purchase (so far, only three are available) at $13,311 and is expected to ship in August 2019.
The use of the sauna has long been known for its health and wellness properties, but over the last several years in particular, mounting evidence has confirmed those assertions. Just last year, a study from the Mayo Clinic found a link between sauna use and lowered risk of vascular diseases, neurocognitive diseases and nonvascular conditions like pulmonary diseases, among a host of other benefits.
With health benefits well established, sauna manufacturers are finding consumers are...
Right now, life for the pool and spa retailer is going swimmingly. As we found in our SOI retail survey — which received a record-breaking number of responses this year — just over half of respondents feel "very comfortable" with the future of the industry. Sixty-three percent said their businesses are growing stronger. These encouraging numbers point to another promising season of high revenues and happy customers.
At the same time, prosperity has not led to complacency. Pool and...