How calling the cops can help aftermarket business

Donna Harris covers automotive retailing Automotive News
The folks at Riverside Automotive Group in Escanaba, Mich., called the cops on their newest insurance product.

Riverside wanted to try out a windshield protection product and thought the best way to test it would be to apply it for free to local patrol cars. The police spend a lot of time behind the wheel in all kinds of weather conditions. So they would know whether the product improved visibility.

This is definitely a case of sound business reasoning. Consider how, in one fell swoop, the seven-store dealership group:

1. Performed a community service by applying the product to police cars for free.

2. Earned the good will of the police. It's always smart to have the police on your side.

3. Ran an effective test of a product before offering it for sale. They wanted to make sure the product worked and that they weren't just selling pixie dust.

So how did the product do? The police gave it a green light.