How can I help customers make an emotional connection with an ice machine?
It occurred to me while working the Boston Seafood show this March, that logic and reason don’t usually overcome the desire to put off till tomorrow what should be done today. Specifically it is more difficult to convince someone to order an ice machine in the middle of a snowstorm in winter than in the blazing heat of summer. Still, to be ready for the summer ice season the logical and reasonable time to buy ice machines is now.
While sitting idle during a northeaster at the last day of the show I mused: Why is it so difficult for so many to make the investment on an ice machine that usually has a very high and highly reliable rate of return or significantly helps prevent a catastrophic losses of product? Perhaps I need to help my customers make the emotional connection to their ice machine too.
Before the storm blew in I had the opportunity to take an unscheduled tour of a large fishing vessel. It was revealing to me that an old boat will be continually maintained and updated to catch and bring back hundreds of tons of fresh and frozen highly marketable fish. Whatever is required, fishermen will find the money to keep their boats operating and up-to-date. The boats are not only necessary equipment but also are the fishermen’s lifeline and the emotional symbol of their respective chosen profession and livelihood. So much so that the boats go by their own names. Yet it’s generally without argument that old boats should be replaced before there is no choice about doing so! And it seems farmers make similar connections with their tractors. I’ve spent many hours at the family farm in the seat of “Ol Big Red”, an IH farm tractor. When it’s time to plant or to harvest, it had to run. It served us well but when it was time, it was replaced by the newer “Big Green Machine.” Although ice machines are nearly as important to the success of any fish catch or produce harvest, I don’t know of any customer who has named their ice machine. Is a catchy name, born out of day-to-day use and familiarity, all that is missing? Perhaps for Vogt and Turbo ice machines it’s time to give the “Ol Reliable” a thorough going over. Get a professional evaluation from your refrigeration contractor and (or) Vogt representative and consider the alternatives. Treat “Ol Reliable” with the respect it’s earned. While you have a choice and before the peak of ice season is upon you, decide to fix it, or completely overhaul it, or let it retire on top– with dignity intact.
Perhaps it’s time to name a new, more efficient Vogt icemaker to take the mantle.