I was was at Trainland today (great store with good pricing) and Ryan Knuckle was there. Got to talk about several topics regarding Flyer and the future, but one thing that interested me was the topic of surveys. I shared with him that I had done two sets of them in previous years (he was aware of them) and wondered why Lionel did not do one for American Flyer. He responded “if he asked 10 of us what we wanted, he would get 11 different answers”.
This got me thinking that in many ways we are our own worst enemy. Our failure to agree on what we want and putting down options that one person wants and another does not may be what hurts us in the long run as without an overwhelming support for one product we get nothing.
Typically when I have done these surveys I get results like 35% want product A, 35% want Product B and 30% want product C. From Lionel’s perspective, there is not enough interest to do any of those items.
Now if were to get to the point that 100% wanted product B, They might be willing to pursue it (based on cost etc). Then if that product sold well and then next year if 100% then wanted Product A they would be more inclined to consider that.
My point behind this is I think in the past these surveys asked what you would want them to build. I’m thinking a different approach may be needed. Instead maybe (for example) I should proposes 3 engines and ask, would you be willing to buy one of these. You could respond yes or no to any of the 3. This way, instead of Lionel walking away thinking 2/3rds of S gauge fans would not buy the new engine, instead they might consider it if they saw 90% would buy one of the engines. It may not be your favorite, but it still would be something new you would buy.
What do you all think of this approach?