Saturday, September 4, 2010

Problem vs. Solution

Years ago, when I was a timeshare salesperson, I was trained to "uncover the problem" with the consumers' vacation experience and then voila! present the timeshare in question as the answer to that problem.

Usually, this worked quite well...after all...this was back in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Hotels were usually the basic "bed, bath and Bible", didn't include amenities such as a refrigerator and were consistently raising their prices. The timeshare in question almost always had more space, more amenities, more "luxuries", saved money in the long run and had the ownership aspect going for them..."isn't it better to own than rent?" argument worked well.

Flash forward to 2010 and things have changed considerably. Of course I'm not a salesperson anymore, but much more has changed. Hotels, now generally include more amenities (refrigerators being the least of them), prices have gone down and in many areas, the idea of owning a piece of land is a minus, not a plus.

So where does that leave timeshare? What to do when the problem and solution no longer match up? Not surprisingly, the only way to change is to market to a new target market. The people staying at the $59.99 a night hotel (now including breakfast, wi-fi, playgrounds, in-room coffee maker, etc.) really never were the ideal market for timeshare, the industry just talked so much and so loudly about it, that they fooled themselves.

Change the target market and you'll see that the problem vs. solution paradigm works perfectly.

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