SITUATION: ReadyLIFT® Suspension Inc. was founded on the principals of developing a line of economical suspension leveling products that would allow Truck and SUV owners to be able to “level” their vehicle in order to install Plus-size wheels and tires. Until several years ago, truck and SUV owners had limited options available to them if they wanted to purchase larger aftermarket wheels and tires. Basically a person would have to purchase an expensive 4+ inch lift kit. Not only would some of these aftermarket lift kits cost well beyond $1,000, but would also change the factory ride, usually to something much more harsh. There were virtually no companies developing quality front suspension leveling products that would simply “level” out a truck or SUV.
ReadyLIFT® Founder and CEO Scott Poncher has spent nearly his entire life directly involved in the automotive aftermarket. He realized that there was a huge consumer market that didn’t want a tall lift kit that would compromise gas mileage and that important nice factory ride. The ReadyLift® line of suspension products was developed to provide consumers with a cost-effective alternative for their needs, essentially designing the exact product they were looking for. That product is one that would take the “rake” out of the vehicle by raising the front end up enough to make the vehicle sit level from front to rear while affording the consumer to be able to purchase the wheels and tires they wanted. And most importantly, to do so without compromising the quality of the factory ride and handling.
The core concept was pure and focused. Develop a line of suspension leveling products that would level a vehicle correctly, safely and without having to modify any of the factory components. The challenges to this philosophy were many. Not from the numerous major “tall” suspension manufacturers. But rather from cultivators of cheap alternatives. Alternatives made from cheap materials and lacking the development work necessary to insure quality installation, fit and ride quality.
Besides having to face the obstacle of cheap, inferior “home made” products, ReadyLift® was also faced with the task of changing market and product perception. One of the most common mis-information that circulated through the consumer and even some dealer networks was the idea that on torsion bar-equipped vehicles, all a person had to do was use and impact wrench and overload the factory torsion bar keys to lift their vehicle. The result was a very harsh ride and usually destroyed shocks too. ReadyLift® designed their leveling keys specifically for each vehicle, providing a specialized leveling key featuring the correct amount of “lift” without having to over-rotate the torsion bars. And ReadyLift® was the only company to include shock extension brackets which easily installed to allow the shocks to operate properly and not be damaged by over-extension.
The main marketing challenge ReadyLift® faced was figuring out how to effectively get the message out to not only distributors and dealers, but directly to the customer. That message is that the ideal product for their needs existed, created by a company focused on developing the ideal leveling product, and to debunk the backyard myths associated with trying to do-it-yourself.
ReadyLift® instituted an internal program to build the marketing message around the true concept of “Level or Lift your truck and Maintain Your Factory Ride”. Traditional print ads were published in aftermarket consumer and trade publications displaying the ReadyLift® product line and delivering the “message”. An even greater effort was placed on educating aftermarket product distributors of the benefits of ReadyLift’s specialized truck and SUV leveling products. Active participation and advertisements in vehicle forums has brought awareness of the ReadyLift® brand to the consumer level.
ReadyLift® took marketing their line of suspension products beyond mainstream channels. Image is extremely important in developing a productive branding program. Every ReadyLift product package has been carefully designed with an enticing appearance featuring high quality images of the vehicle that product pertains to, along with high quality images of the exact products contained in the box. And most important, the features and benefits of the ReadyLift® product line, as well as descriptive technical information about what the consumer can expect from the product. Not only does this Informational Image method educate the consumer who holds a ReadyLift® product package in his hands, but it also provides quick and easy information for the retail salespersons.
Image is everything. ReadyLift takes great pride in developing every aspect of its marketing programs around branding the name ReadyLift® with a positive and productive element. From the high-quality catalog, laminated card stock flyers, retail banners and top notch point of purchase merchandisers to all of targeted print and web advertisements, the goal is to present the message with a high-quality image of the ReadyLift® name and product line. Every product and vehicle image should tell the story of what the product is about and how it will benefit the consumer.
Website presence is not just about selling a product. ReadyLift® gives extensive support to all of its distributors, dealers and consumers by displaying a high-quality image to every visitor of www.readylift.com. All of the information that a consumer or dealer needs is available at a click of a button. From associating the recommended tire and wheel size for each application to instructional videos and how-to articles, every visitor is presented with the opportunity to learn about the quality and ease of installation of ReadyLift® suspension leveling products.
Taking branding to another level, ReadyLift® had branded the name outside of mainstream channels by developing a sponsorship program with the quickly growing CORR Championship Off Road Racing series. ReadyLift® joined forces with Robert Naughton Racing in an effort to get the ReadyLift® brand name in front of thousands of on-site fans, as well as millions of television viewers. Associating the quality of the company name with the quality and performance of a top off road truck driver has yielded dividends. ReadyLift has become a brand name in the CORR racing community and now extends beyond the track as Team ReadyLift® wins races and Championships that can be seen by millions on television and web videos.
The focused desire to brand the ReadyLift® name with consumers along with extensive efforts to expand the distributor and retail presence has made ReadyLift® the most widely known and consequently the most successful manufacturer of leveling and mild lift kit systems. By providing a quality product designed and manufactured to give the customer exactly what they want without compromising the vehicle ride quality, the message has been well received. Provide the right product, the right message and the right image as a company philosophy has doubled the company growth each year. Consumers recognize the ReadyLift® name and associate it with a company that doesn’t just manufacturer products. But rather a company that provides a product they recognize as being purposely designed to provide the lift they want without any compromises. And every ReadyLift® product is Guaranteed to maintain the factory ride.