SONIK Sports launched back in May 2008 and from the off it was clear that the brand was a little bit special – not surprising considering the pedigree of the gentlemen behind it. Former Hardy & Greys commercial director Ian McCormack and Tony Anderson, who also worked at the Alnwick company as a product manager were joined by seasoned marketeer, John Openshaw to form the new fishing tackle manufacturer. It is John’s role within SONIK Sports that perhaps interests me the most.
John Openshaw has Coca-Cola listed as a previous employer and was described as having a background in online marketing in one of the first press releases for SONIK. I remember thinking that this was unusual at the time and was pleased that at least one tackle company had recognised the importance of Online within the fishing industry. I wasn’t too surprised when I found SONIK Sports active on Twitter recently (refreshing) – it jolted me into checking what else they’d been up to online.
Visit the SONIK Sports website and it won’t take too long to notice how they differ from pretty much all other tackle manufacturer sites in the UK… you can transact directly with the company online. At first this seems like a brave move considering that they must have been trying to target a retail base and on getting the brand in all the right tackle shops, but I think they’ve done it acceptibly. The opening line of their Ordering Information page leads with a recommendation to order from one of their authorised dealers (stores).
The eCommerce platform itself is solid. The product photography really sets it apart – exactly what’s required for an optimum shopping experience online. The glossy images of SONIK rods and reels gives the impression of an expensive catalogue. I feel most anglers would feel comfortable and secure shopping on the SONIK Sports website.
Aside from active Twitter activity I’d been looking for signs that SONIK were willing to push the envelope a little online. I think I found that in the SONIK Reward Club scheme. The consumer reward club works as follows. Every customer that purchases something from the SONIK Sports website receives a unique Reward Club membership number. Each time a purchase is made through the website the customer receives points to their online account at the rate of 1 point per £10 spent. The points can be traded for cash discounts on shop items as well as other desirable items, like angling holidays.
That’s pretty strong on its own although we have seen similar before, however the marketing expertise shines through with a really nice touch. Signed up members and previous customers (i.e. anyone with a membership number) can earn points by becoming brand ambassadors and mini-salesmen by recommending SONIK to their friends and associates. Recommend SONIK to a friend and give them your unique ID to quote at the point of sale and you’ll be rewarded. Not only that but your friend will be rewarded too with a whopping 10 reward points – so they have plenty of incentive to remember your code!
The reward scheme also works along the lines of a fishing affiliate program having the functionality to pass your unique ID through a web link. Despite not having the facility to track the success of your micro-marketing efforts (only accrued points are displayed in your account) this is a really fabulous idea.
SONIK Sports haven’t disappointed in their fresh ideas online and I am very much looking forward to whatever they have planned next.
If you’re a first time customer of SONIK Sports online, please quote this code – QODM12AK – to claim your 10 reward points