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Old 08-06-2004, 09:44 AM   #253
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<---- Not yet members, but just mailed our check today. Might be some value in an exit interview for members that don't renew?
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Old 08-06-2004, 10:00 AM   #254
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireflyinva
Jack,

We never read the Blue Beret, but for some odd reason I flipped through it yesterday before tossing it into the recycle pile.
Talk about lack of participation......


Quote:
Originally Posted by fireflyinva
I glanced through that survey as well--and found several major shortcomings. First, by putting it in the magazine, they limited its distribution to folks who actually read it--and logically, if they are missing their membership targets, then the people they really need to survey are the folks who don't read it and the folks who don't join. This would have be better served by a random sample of members and non-members.
Did you reply to survey?, You did say you never read the BB, didnt you?

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Originally Posted by fireflyinva
Additionally, the survey on first glance failed to ask questions aimed at anything except self-validation. Finally, they didn't effectively analyze the results to see how responses varied by characteristic populations. An example of this might kind of analysis might involve calculating how many of the folks who don't attend rallies read the magazine?
From a marketing perspective, WBCCI would be better served by addressing this strategically. They can still use this survey to capture a profile of their high participation/loyal membership. Then they need to identify the issues and concerns of the low and non-participants. A plan for the non-participants might involve contacting Thor for the profile of current customers, then having a neutral group conduct focus groups with them. Finally, they can aim at the low participants by selecting a group of members that have not attended national rallies and have not responded to the survey and focus grouping them.
I think the WBCCI could use some direction, you seem knowledgable in surveys, would you volunteer your assistance as ALL other WBCCI efforts are voluntary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fireflyinva
All of this will take money and effort--but they do need to put resources into this area if they want to build up appeal to the group they are failing to attract at the current time.Mary
Mary, I respect your comments but it always come down to opinions of how it should be done. Please help our efforts and write your suggestions to the WBCCI and maybe even lend a helping hand.
I hope you are motivated to be an active member and assist in pursuing our goals.

Smily
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Old 08-06-2004, 10:16 AM   #255
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Originally Posted by Over59
I'm at the Region 1 Rally in Woodstock CT. What caught my eye is how many of the officers are in the Bus type Thor (Airstream) MH. I think there may be a culture shift here. For me Airstream is classic style not brand name. Sorry. I think the use of the Airstream name by Thor for bus like MH resulted in a major change in the WBCCI culture. I wonder when they will put the name on something else that's square.

The club and the product have to compete. The classic bodied motorhome was not competing against the lower cost box styles so Airstream brought them out. Many of the officers live full time in their coach. I cannot imagine trying to full time in a classic motorhome, when compared to the storage that a bus style motorhome offers. Especially with the slide outs, etc.

There has been a shift in the culture of the club due to the Motorhomes period. There are many die hards that do not even consider the classic motorhome as a eligible product because Wally himself felt that the Motorhome was not the direction to go for RV based travels. IMHO if it were not for the Motorhomes, and their owners, the club would not be here at all. The members that are active in the club and many in the officer positions want to have the space and comfort that a motorhome offers. If you ask, I would bet that 90% of them did have trailers, and I know of some that had classic Motorhomes too.

Airstream has a unique product that they are working to perpetuate, but from a business standpoint they still have to compete with the Winnebago's of the world for the same buyers. If they did not have a product to offer then we could all be discussing on the forum how sad the demise of the company was, since they failed to compete in the marketplace, ala Spartan, or Avion, or Award, or Revcon, All were good products that were unique, but they did not consistently compete with the other manufacturers out there at the time, and now they are gone.

Is purity of product worth loss of longevity? If the company were to ever discontinue the classic shaped trailers I would say that it would be the beginning of it's demise, but I do not see them killing off an American Icon.
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Old 08-06-2004, 10:40 AM   #256
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenewkid64

Is purity of product worth loss of longevity? If the company were to ever discontinue the classic shaped trailers I would say that it would be the beginning of it's demise, but I do not see them killing off an American Icon.
I firmly believe that they should bring back the classic motorhome. Perhaps as a niche market segment. To have phased them out and only have the box units is a shame. Heck, Wally didn't like a bunch of things...it made it not right or wrong...just his opinion and vision of the future.

I'd have to agree, to caputre more of the market, Airstream couldn't not offer a box type trailer, yet I still feel that they should bring back the classics. I feel that there has been a void since their departure.

Even when I wasn't an Airstreamer and knew little of the product, I recall seeing my first boxy Airstream and thinking to myself, what happened. I am sure that knee jerk reaction was similar eleswhere. I recall as a kid, the story of how Airstream would not make a motorhome when the Winnebegos were the motorhome icon on the road. I remember very clearly how I felt when I saw the first classic Airstream motorhome, but words can't describe that feeling. It was a beautiful sight to say the least and I don't mean to sound sappy about it. It was a very cool sight to see.

I think they can have it both ways. I only hope the rumors are correct about the classic designs returning. Just my .02
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Old 08-06-2004, 11:00 AM   #257
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
I firmly believe that they should bring back the classic motorhome. Perhaps as a niche market segment. To have phased them out and only have the box units is a shame. Heck, Wally didn't like a bunch of things...it made it not right or wrong...just his opinion and vision of the future.
I have it from a reliable source that the prelim designs are in the pipeline. When it will be released is not a solid date, but it is coming. I think it is time, more people are aware of the Airstream style. Look at the popularity of the Mini Cooper, etc. there are buyers, they just need to pony up and the product will stay available. If they buyers don't buy, the product will fade away just like the previous ones did.
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Old 08-06-2004, 02:07 PM   #258
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I do not actually work in marketing (although I have in the past), but I have been involved closely with another membership organization facing a similar decline in participation. However, by market analysis, proactive leadership, sale of property, and development of new organizational products/services, that group is now in a growth position.

The keystone of this effort in my other organization was to understand what our existing members liked/disliked, to become aware of what non members would want from the organization if they joined, and to come up with a new institutional concept that would appeal to the widest range of members and non members.

When organization like WBCCI is decline in a time of expanding membership potential, then there is a significant problem (as indeed, the summary in Blue Beret states). Members and potential members are consumers--so an organization has to find what those consumers want, especially the consumers that aren't buying the product. Blaming poor sales on the lost or disaffected customer is not an effective growth strategy.

I suggest that it would be a wise use of the institutional budget to understand objectively what strategic elements are hampering growth. That doesn't appear to be addressed by the effort reflected in this survey, since it hasn't profiled anyone except the existing faithful.

The comments made regarding my participation or readership are irrellevant to this discussion of survey results. Your statements employ faulty reasoning, are of a personal nature and are not germain. I continue to limit my own comments to the survey results, which I did read (so, no, I didn't respond, but that fact does highlight the methodological shortcomings of the survey).

Your other statement appears to state that outside my own personal activities, all other institutional WBCCI efforts are voluntary. This overall statement lacks logical cohesion and is incorrect. WBCCI is a fee collecting organization, has a budget and is not, as such, a purely voluntary organization.

Mary



Quote:
Originally Posted by smily
Talk about lack of participation......

Did you reply to survey?, You did say you never read the BB, didnt you?

I think the WBCCI could use some direction, you seem knowledgable in surveys, would you volunteer your assistance as ALL other WBCCI efforts are voluntary.

Mary, I respect your comments but it always come down to opinions of how it should be done. Please help our efforts and write your suggestions to the WBCCI and maybe even lend a helping hand.
I hope you are motivated to be an active member and assist in pursuing our goals.

Smily
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Old 08-08-2004, 07:00 AM   #259
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When you walk around the Region One Rally what you see is alot of retired people. If it were not for them there would be no rally. There are younger people acitve in Charter Oak but clearly the majority of participants and I suspect "workers" are the older crowd. We met some forum members and others and had a good time. The vintage open house turned into a block party and there must have been 100 people through our trailer.
Unfortunately they had Ham again for Rally dinner. I don't understand this fetish with ham heated in water. Nest year Region One is in Quebec. Maybe they'll have something different.
My biggest grip is the cafeteria food. And yes I would gladly help out to improve it.
Did you notice that 5% of the survey population was 50 years or younger. That means 95% was over 50.
Does Airstream give new buyers WBCCI introduction packetts?
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Old 08-08-2004, 07:46 AM   #260
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Going back to the original subject matter (Blue Beret survey), has anybody else seen the results published in the most recent issue? Our copy arrived yesterday. Seems that those who voted were not too hot on the pomp and circumstance of WBCCI, either.

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Old 08-08-2004, 09:19 AM   #261
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We just atteneded a meeting on this very subject yesterday during the Potlatch Salmon Rally in Washington.

This group is painfully aware that the ranks are shrinking. A real shame ... these folks and the ones that came before them have labored long and hard to build something of value ... but they are concerned about who is going to carry on after them.

By the way ... the members of the Washington Unit are pretty cool. We have yet to see a blue beret or bolo tie on anyone. And at 4PM ... everyone gathers for a true happy hour ... beer and wine for everyone!
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Old 08-08-2004, 09:24 PM   #262
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By the way ... the members of the Washington Unit are pretty cool. We have yet to see a blue beret or bolo tie on anyone.
Hey wait a sec, berets can be kind of cool, especially when worn slouched off to the side (and not plopped on the head like a mushroom cap), preferrably with an ascot for men, a chiffon scarf and sun glasses for women. Cigarette hung from lips (lit or not lit) optional.

Bolos are tougher, since they are so hard to wear with an ascot. Maybe remove the string, insert a safety pin and use it as a kind of cravat pin.

Neither prompts me to want to read the magazine, though.

Mary
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Old 08-09-2004, 10:59 AM   #263
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenewkid64
I have it from a reliable source that the prelim designs are in the pipeline. When it will be released is not a solid date, but it is coming. I think it is time, more people are aware of the Airstream style. Look at the popularity of the Mini Cooper, etc. there are buyers, they just need to pony up and the product will stay available. If they buyers don't buy, the product will fade away just like the previous ones did.

Funny you should mention that...the CEO of Airstream gave a talk at our rally, and he mentioned both the classic motorhome, AND the "mini-cooper". When asked directly, he said that they hope to have the prototype of the new classic MH at next year's international rally in St. Louis. He also said that it would not be "exactly" like the classic mh's we all know, but very similar looking, much the way the "mini" and the new "beetle" are new, but highly reminiscent of their predecessors.
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Old 08-09-2004, 11:06 AM   #264
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Over59
When you walk around the Region One Rally what you see is alot of retired people.
There were alot of kids, too. In fact, one of the "international" past/present 2nd or 3rd grand poo-bah's in attendance commented that he hadn't seen so many kids at a rally in ages.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Over59
If it were not for them there would be no rally. There are younger people acitve in Charter Oak but clearly the majority of participants and I suspect "workers" are the older crowd.
The guy in charge was <40, a third-generation wally-ite, with 2 young children.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Over59
Unfortunately they had Ham again for Rally dinner. I don't understand this fetish with ham heated in water. Nest year Region One is in Quebec. Maybe they'll have something different.
back-bacon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Over59
My biggest grip is the cafeteria food. And yes I would gladly help out to improve it.
The hot-dogs were good! So was the Pizza. "pizza night" for the kids...but you old farts missed it.
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Old 08-09-2004, 11:13 AM   #265
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Old Farts

Quote:
Originally Posted by fireflyinva
Hey wait a sec, berets can be kind of cool, especially when worn slouched off to the side (and not plopped on the head like a mushroom cap), preferrably with an ascot for men, a chiffon scarf and sun glasses for women. Cigarette hung from lips (lit or not lit) optional.

Mary
Yeah, what's up with THAT? that was the first thing I noticed when I joined and started getting the BB, with all the pictures of the poo-bah's. Wally never wore the hat like that..at least not in any of the pic's I've seen. in fact, there's one of him in the latest issue, and for a second, I thought it was Dizzy Gillespie. and it don't GET any cooler than that!

I sort of hoped that the recent adoption of the beret as the standard cover for US Army Soldiers might illustrate that THEY'RE WEARING THE HAT WRONG!!! But so far, it hasn't.

ANYway...here's a pic of some of the "old farts" in attendance. Kids on bikes, hot babes, hippies with tie-dyed shirts....
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Old 08-09-2004, 11:21 AM   #266
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Future "Old Fart"

from the Region 1 rally...Jack had many young attendants during the rally. I couldn't get many pics, because they were all moving so fast.
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