It seems that wherever I go from our office, I always end up going past this client’s shop and there, parked in front, is his truck. That truck always makes me smile. It’s true, KRD created the logo for him that is plastered on it, but, there is something else there… The other day as I drove past wondering what it was about this image, I realized it was calling to me saying, “don’t be such a tool, don’t go to the printer today, go sailing. Let the breezes of the Sound mist salt water on your face.”
Ok, I absolutely have to get to the printer, and anyway, I don’t own a sailboat, but it did compel me to give Scott Hardy, owner of The Boat Locker a call and check up on biz, see how he’s liking living with his logo and just chat up this purveyor of fun in the sun.
He bought his small boat business in 1984 …it’s really a dream job when it’s smooth sailing in the economy, but what about right now?
SH: We’re doing better than last year. But even last year we were doing business. We found while people didn’t take a lot of trips, they stayed around here and actually used the country clubs and yacht clubs they are paying for. So I spent a lot of time running selling new and used boats and delivering parts.
KR: Yikes, that sounds like a lot of work.
SH: We are all about customer service. We want our customer’s experience with us to come off without a hitch.
KR: (Is that a boat joke?) So you mainly service Fairfield County then?
SH: Yes, followed by Long Island and Westchester County… but really we ship or courier boats and parts all over the world. We have customers who order parts and then take them with them on their business trip to London to deliver to a colleague who’s also a sailing buddy. We’ve delivered to Thailand, Abu Dhabi, South America… It’s all customer referrals.
KR: So you would say it’s superb customer service that keeps this business afloat? (That’s my boat joke.)
SH: You need three departments: you need to be a reputable dealer (carry a really good product); have an excellent sales department; and really skilled repair and used sales department.
KR: Give me a real life example of all three of The Boat Locker departments in action.
SH: A customer calls us from the yacht club at the beginning of the season to tell us that he realizes his son has outgrown his boat. I tell him I will be right there with a new one, pick up the old one and sell it for him.
KR: Wow! And when you’re not making your customers’ weekends hassle-free?
SH: I am flying my Beechcraft airplane. Flying is another passion of mine.
KR: Scott, enough about you… How ‘bout KRD? Why did you call us for a new logo?
SH: When you get to know your customers really well, they feel like they can tell you things. A few customers said, “You sell really cool things here, but your logo looks really dated”. So I called a design firm they recommended and they delivered a logo that really didn’t work. In fact the marine business consultant I hired insisted I change it.
KR: So you called us?
SH: Yes, the new logo is bold, recognizable, you can see it from a distance, and it really says sailing — in the colors, the format and the graphics. First and foremost it reflects what we do. And it’s been really great the way it translates into all of our branding.. . We use it on rackpads, stickers, croakies, boatcovers.
KR: And your trucks…