Engage the Consumer and the Distribution Channel for Optimal Results


Polaris personal watercraft (PWC)  historically placed last in market share. The challenge was to increase sales and market share without eroding either Polaris’ or the retail channels’ already low margin.


After conducting a thorough SWOT analysis it became clear that a series of tactics that worked in unison in order to fully engage the retail channel and focus limited resources was needed to achieve the goal of 73% sell through rate through the following:

  • Build dealer and consumer confidence
  • Engage the sales channel (dealer network)
  • Increase Awareness through very specific and targeted opportunities
  • Increase repurchase and brand advocacy
  • Gain greater insight into customers purchase and repurchase motivations

A series of programs and tactics were developed to address the objectives listed above:

  •  Know the Way Out –  Retail channel training designed to engage the dealer network with product knowledge and sales techniques. Track dealer progress and reward participation.
  • Ride the Right Stuff – Dealer principal and sales person incentive program designed to reward and engage the dealer. Gain share of mind in the retail channel.
  • Polaris in Paradise – a retail consumer program designed to target key market areas. This seasonal promotion (Jan  – April) pulled consumers in during peak selling season and provided tiered marketing support for maximum impact and effective use of resources
  • Ride of Your Life – A national retail promotion that included the entire Polaris product offering (ATV, Snowmobiles Motorcycle and PWC)


The results were closely tracked: (click for polaris results for graphs)

  • During the full year that these programs ran July 1, 2003 through June 30, 2004, the dealers that were fully engaged retailed 7 times the number of units than their counterparts who did not participate in any program.
  • During the peak promotional timeframe Jan – April 2004 participating dealers doubled their sales
  • By June 30, 2004 Polaris had gained 3 points of market share and moved from fourth place to third

Key Learnings

A retail sales channel that is fully engaged with a variety of programs such as training, dealer principal incentives as well as sales person rewards combined with comprehensive consumer retail promotion strategy result in the most effective use of limited resources

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