Bridgestone/Firestone Inc.'s recent promotional and marketing campaign on behalf of its Blizzak snow tire is a wonderful lesson in how to sell the benefits of a specific tire line and at the same time generate sales for independent dealers and other retail outlets. To boost sales of the Blizzak, promote the use of snow tires and tout the firm's technological leadership, BFS recently conducted a multi-city tour to show off the road gripping ability of the tire on snow and ice.
In six major snow markets the company demonstrated the tire's effectiveness on starting, stopping and slalom courses set up on ice rinks. An average of 75-80 dealers attended each event along with local news media.
Thanks to heavy local media coverage, sales of Blizzak tires soared following the events. In Denver, for example, the company sold more than 1,500 Blizzaks to consumers the day after the promotion took place.
With tires often thought of as a commodity, it's good to see an event that focuses on the benefits of a tire line, rather than low price, and then goes on to generate sales at the retail level.
Then there was one.
General Tire's decision to move its headquarters to Charlotte, N.C., from Akron all but ends the city's stake as the Tire Capital of the World.
Only Goodyear will remain headquartered in the city that once made more than half of the world's tires and was home to four of its largest tire manufacturers.
While a blow to Akron, General's parent Continental A.G. is entitled to do what it deems best to restore the profitability and viability of its largest subsidiary.
Time will tell whether this latest move will contribute or detract from its pursuit of that goal.
Nevertheless, General's leaving marks another chapter in Akron's fall as a tire manufacturing center.
The city's loss is Charlotte's gain.