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Nationwide Urges Dealers To Get What’s Theirs

Winston-Salem, N.C. – The Nationwide Marketing Group is beating the market share drum. Again.

Actually, the $15 billion support organization for independent dealers never stopped sounding the share opportunity alert since first introducing its “Prepare For Share” strategy back in March.

The program, which debuted at the group’s last PrimeTime convention and trade show, leverages all of Nationwide’s marketing, advertising, merchandising and market intelligence tools to help dealers gain share within their local markets.

The initiative was still in its infancy last spring, and Nationwide is planning to present a dramatically expanded service portfolio, bolstered with vendor support, at its PrimeTime fall gathering next month in Las Vegas (Aug. 2-5 at The Venetian). Indeed, Prepare for Share, or “PFS,” will be the central focus of the event, as reflected in the seminars, the show’s theme of “Game Changer,” and the quadrupling of dedicated booth space front and center on the show floor.

The concept is the brainchild of executive VP Jeff Knock, who sees current marketplace flux as a prime opportunity for independent dealers to build their local standing. Epochal industry events like RadioShack’s bankruptcy, sales declines at Sears and hhgregg, the advent of connected devices, and a renaissance in majap and video technology provide a perfect storm of marketplace upheaval that’s ripe for independents to harness, he said.

To do so, Nationwide is providing a vast marketing toolbox that includes detailed competitive analyses of dealers’ local trading areas with improved analytics; its turnkey “Just Say Yes” and “360º” multimedia programs, which offer comprehensive marketing packages including social media campaigns, digital banner ads, print ads, and in-store displays; and a full spate of customized TV commercials, shot in HD at the group’s PrimeMedia facility in Atlanta, that target millennials and Sears customers, and take aim at big-box chains.

“We’re going after consumers with discretionary income who want to buy better stuff,” Knock told TWICE. “We’re still competing with $499 this and $799 that, but our concern is how to drive appliance packages and 4K TV. We want to break out of the pack, go after premium products, and take share from Sears.”

Round two of program will be starting out with the wind at its back. Following a dour first quarter marred by bad weather, port-related supply problems and questions surrounding the just-announced Electrolux-GE merger, Knock said the May-June period came roaring back, with Nationwide outpacing the industry in unit- and dollar-volume growth, and anecdotal reports pointing to an outstanding Independence Day sales period.

The biggest challenge now, Knock noted, is getting all of Nationwide’s dealers on board. Despite a ten-fold increase in member participation since Q1, Knock hopes to rally all the troops behind the program in Las Vegas, as “there is nothing more important to our members.

“Prepare For Share works,” he said. “If dealers don’t use it shame on them. The challenge to members is, are you in or are you out?”