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UTC

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BV 400 (21) , BV 350 (16) SOLD :( , Sprint 150 2015(SOLD), Liberty S150 2018
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BV 400 (21) , BV 350 (16) SOLD :( , Sprint 150 2015(SOLD), Liberty S150 2018
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I was the "point man" between two Italian manufacturers and an American distributor for over ten years during the mid 80's until the mid 90's. I went to Italy every quarter during this period for 10-14 days and dealt with the owners, management and engineering staff of two companies. This article illustrates the differences between the two cultures that I've seen, over and over again that sometimes made me want to run into the parking lot and scream at the sky. The President of "Piaggio, North America" made a good point but pre-judged the journalists and made a tactical error by not bringing the scoots to the event. Both sides lost out and sadly, Piaggio will probably make similar errors in the future and the media will keep on ignoring the point like they always have in America. In the end, the consumer loses because there will continue to be a lack of dealers for their products in North America and prices will stay high or increase..............and there's only one way to reverse that trend: Sell many more scooters which will grow the dealer base and lower prices in the long run. Crying or Very sad emoticon
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
@gogogordy avatar
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UTC quote
XLR8 wrote:
I was the "point man" between two Italian manufacturers and an American distributor for over ten years during the mid 80's until the mid 90's. I went to Italy every quarter during this period for 10-14 days and dealt with the owners, management and engineering staff of two companies. This article illustrates the differences between the two cultures that I've seen, over and over again that sometimes made me want to run into the parking lot and scream at the sky. The President of "Piaggio, North America" made a good point but pre-judged the journalists and made a tactical error by not bringing the scoots to the event. Both sides lost out and sadly, Piaggio will probably make similar errors in the future and the media will keep on ignoring

the point like they always have in America. In the end,
the consumer loses because there will continue to be a
lack of dealers for their products in North America and
prices will stay high or increase..............and there's only
one way to reverse that trend: Sell many more scooters
which will grow the dealer base and lower prices in the

long run. Crying or Very sad emoticon
When did the press become the marketing agency in the food-chain of the powersports industry? If Piaggio wants a different sales message they need to take it up with their advertising agency, which in my opinion produces lame campaigns for them anyway.

Fact is most other ptw manufacturers base their entire campaigns around the recreational aspect of riding. In this country thats what it primarily is: recreational.

Piaggio starts acting like their back is against the wall here in the US when they do/say stuff like that.
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2007 Avio Grey GTV
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UTC quote
gogogordy wrote:
When did the press become the marketing agency in the food-chain of the powersports industry?
The press is the marketing agency of EVERY industry. Its why press releases exist - to get a company's message out in the media. Press is relatively free, ads cost money. Piaggio doesn't have the ad budget to play where it counts in larger scale mass media like television, etc. I only see their print ads in Scoot! and other moto mags.
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09 GTS300 Super black, 04 GT 200 smoky, 05 GT 125 smoky (in pieces)
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UTC quote
I would not advise anyone in the U.S. to buy a 50cc scooter. Getting around on a 200cc is probably dangerous enough as it on the average American road. Wouldn't want to have to compete for road space with all those trucks on a piddly 50cc.

The best environment for 50cc scooters are densely populated urban settings where acceleration isn't critical to active safety.
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UTC quote
Karmann wrote:
gogogordy wrote:
When did the press become the marketing agency in the food-chain of the powersports industry?
The press is the marketing agency of EVERY industry. Its why press releases exist - to get a company's message out in the media. Press is relatively free, ads cost money. Piaggio doesn't have the ad budget to play where it counts in larger scale mass media like television, etc. I only see their print ads in Scoot! and other moto mags.
The press SELLS advertising in it's publications to fund it's business....publishing.

The advertising message (copy, campaign, call it what you will) is typically supplied by advertising companies which are hired by those that want to advertise. If the advertisers (company's which want to advertise their products) want to have a certain message, their advertising companies need to produce that message for them. And then they pay the press to pass it on....

The press isn't the marketing company (unless it's an in-house publication like BMW and some others put out solely about it's own products) The press is simply an avenue to distribute advertisers' messages to the public, for a fee, so it's collective opinions and other information can be shared and advertising makes that fiscally feasible.

It may be a symbiotic relationship, but the publications are not responsible for the message or the contents of advertisers ads. Thats what advertising agencies are here for.

If you only see Piaggio ads in Scoot! and other moto mags, thats the choice of Piaggio and it's ad agency on where to place those ads (spend that money) and it may or may not prove to be the right choice of places to advertise.
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UTC quote
I think there are a lot of factors that weigh against scooters in the US ranging from culture to less dense urban areas, etc. Cheap cars is a huge factor - MSRP on a new Ford Fiesta is 14K vs. GB 12K (or $24K). Insurance for my car is cheaper than my scooter and MC. Parking is expensive if you need to park downtown but I suspect many of our London MV folks would love the opportunity to drive to work and pay only $150/month for parking. Gas is $3/gallon vs. $10/gallon for Europe.
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2010 Vespa GTS 300, 2007 Vespa GTS 250, 2007 Vespa GTV, 2010 Stella 4T #3, and a bunch of broke down vintage scoots
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UTC quote
I agree that Piaggio has to take a completely different approach to marketing their bikes. They approach it like their scooters are a shi-shi novelty item that rich people want to buy to look good. Sure, there may be some customers like that, but if they want to really expand their market, they need to counter the dominant view in the US that scooters are tiny toys that college kids use to get back and forth to class at 30 mph. Granted, I don't watch much TV, but I've never ever seen a Vespa commercial on TV. Now I realize that TV commercials aren't cheap, but putting one up on occasionally on targeted shows would make a big difference. But there are plenty of lower price media that they should be taking advantage of, which they aren't doing to my knowledge, including local radio stations, local newspapers and entertainment magazines, and promotions at live events. They need to play up the capability and durability of their machines, to set themselves apart from all the junk that's out there being sold as "scooters" at Pep Boys. I could go on and on... or Piaggio could just hire me to craft some new marketing campaigns for them...
@tb avatar
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UTC quote
The comments are interesting...
UTC

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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
As of today it's still a cultural shock !!!
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UTC quote
Two words: product placement

Instead of whining at journalists, Piaggio should consider the creative use of product placement to change perception of scooters.

Do you think nearly as many middle-age CEOs and business execs would have taken up Harley riding if Malcolm Forbes hadn't so famously done so?

How about the popularily of Manolo Blahnik shoes as a result of Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City?

Finally think of the huge sales bump Reese's Pieces got when M&M Mars declined to have their candy in E.T.

Many years ago - sometime in the early 90s - I heard a talk by the head of Marketing for Reebok. They were struggling against Nike, and didn't have the advertising budget to go head to head on big name celebrity endorsement. So they went out and scouted up-and-coming college players, with the idea of choosing one they could sponsor for reasonable money once he turned pro but before he was famous.

As the Marketing guy told us: You've not heard of him now, but you will. His name was (and still is) Shaquille O'Neal.

Lots of companies either look for product placement deals or find influencers and set them up with product. If everyone in "Gossip Girl" rode a Vespa then Vespas would become "aspirational" for a large demographis. There are a range of programs that appeal to potential demographic areas, but they key is to get kids interested in have scooters and staying with them. Careful seeding of the product would go further to changing the cultural perception of scooters than if they spent three times the money on traditional ads. In particular, traditional print ads are virtually worthless for this, and they'll never expand their base or change cultural perceptions by advertising in specialty magazines.

My 2 cents.
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