Vance Gillette and Eric Herman: The Magic of Discovery

Eric Herman Headshot

It’s been quite the hot topic of late, this idea of promoting the excitement of the aquatic experience. As many in our industry have pointed out, other recreation-based industries have done a much better job than we have of pounding the promotional drum. 

One big challenge we face has been, and remains, what’s the specific game plan for upping our own game in the battlefield of public perception? What does that actually look like? 

Here’s one potentially useful idea: At the Discover Boating website, there’s a wonderful feature called “Stories of Discovery.” 

It’s a simple yet compelling concept where enthusiasts share videos depicting their own boating experiences, i.e. their stories of discovering the joy of boating. Through these wonderful images, it’s easy to grasp just how much fun you can have on the water. Frankly, it’s enough to make just about anyone want to find the nearest boat and take a ride. 

As the folks behind this program clearly understand, it’s one thing for industry members to carry on about the consumer experience, but it’s far more powerful to have consumers themselves do the promoting. 

Perhaps our industry, and specifically APSP, should take some clues from the boating industry on marketing to the consumer. If we posted videos of our consumers enjoying the good life afforded by pool and spa ownership, we might inspire some prospective clients to look closer to home when it’s time to invest in family fun. 

The nice thing about this type of organic programming is that it’s something we can do right now, without a zillion-dollar promotional budget. We’d simply need to create the venue online somewhere, prime the pump with a handful of example videos and ask everyone in the industry to help the videos go viral. 

It doesn’t take much imagination to visualize pieces that show a spectrum of positive experiences, from kids learning to swim, to little league end-of-season parties, to the visceral energy of teenage soirees and certainly to more adult-oriented fun. 

We should be tapping into the transformative power and magic of discovery. Who knows what we’d find? 

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