Hello equestrian companies of the world! For many of you, I am your target audience.
I am (basically) in my early 30’s, married with no children. My household income is most likely within the average of your customers. I have one horse, and I show locally. I spend a substantial part of my income on said horse, and I desire to look as good as I can and ride to the best of my ability.
I also work in marketing in my real-life outside of horses job, so I’m not ignorant to the tactics you are trying to use to persuade me to buy things. That being said, I have collected some overall observations through my years of shopping for Simon with my own money and my own choices.
I really like it when your models look like people who may actually ride a horse.
Sure, there are some equestrians out there who are blessed with the “equitation” bodies and we all secretly want to be them, but for the rest of us it’s nice when the models you choose are at least somewhat close to an actual person. I know you’re not going to put my curvy size 10/12 friend on your website, but it’d be nice not to have to cruise chronicle or blogs to see how breeches look on normal people.
Don’t scare me into buying a product.
I know your bottom line is selling your product/service. I know that, really I do. What bothers me is the completely transparent “If you love your horse and don’t want to KILL THEM you will buy this product” campaign. The one that immediately comes to mind is the Colicare program from SmartPak. I’ll admit that they toned down their ads a lot (thank you). They used to say something to the extent of “90,000 horses die per year of colic” (subtext: so will yours if you don’t feed this supplement).
Do I hold it against them for going for that angle? No. Does it turn me off from the product and in some ways, the brand? Yes.
Note: My opinions on Colicare could probably be a post in itself… but let me state for the record that I do think the SmartSupplement line is very legit/well researched, and I do think Colicare is a nice perk if you were planning on feeding a digestive supplement anyway.
Sale means sale… and I’m smart enough to know the difference.
Dover is the big offender here. Every single item in their catalog is marked on sale because they advertise the list price as the product’s price… meaning when you see “60% off!” it’s 60% off the list price instead of the market value that they’re actually charging. 60% off then turns more into 30% sometimes. I’m not a math pro, but I am paying attention to your sales.
I love new stuff. Can’t get enough of it!
It doesn’t matter if it’s the same Charles Owen helmet with a new type of fabric or tall boots with a slightly different shaped toe… show me all the things! Email me all the new things. Catalog me all the new things. Just send me a poster with NEW THINGS and a collage of everything I want for my pretty pony.
On the old things, meh.
I get it… it’s spring and there are flies and you’re selling the same fly sheets and fly boots and fly spray that you’ve been selling for the past ten years. I get this is a potentially lucrative email marketing send for you… but you should get that I’m not going to bother opening it most likely.
I love breed diversity in your product shots.
I know it’s expensive to book an on location shoot with the horses, but I really love it when a bridle or halter is shown on a horse instead of a white background or plastic pony. I also love it when there’s the stocky quarter horse, the roman nosed Andalusian, and the braided hunter all in your line up of models. You may or may not have control over some of these breed choices, but I love seeing different horses besides a thick headed dark bay warmblood.
What about ya’ll… what’s your message to equine marketers?