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[TowerTalk] Sommer again

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Sommer again
From: (Joe Spinosa)
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 97 06:32:43 UT
Hey, I was offering Mr. Sommer thousands of dollars of exposure to the
kind of hams who actually may purchase his antennas, and over many years
from a middlin-high contest station.  Again, I say, without an installed
base and lots of word of mouth, doesn't matter how good your product is,
no one (very few) will take a chance on it.
Yes, he is a dedicated craftsman, not a salesman.  Therein is a potential
failure of a potentially excellent product.  
Why do some mfgs. loan their products to big guns and to contest & dx
operations if they do not expect gain from the loan or gift?  I want good
products to succeed, including Sommer's if so.  Gotta get them out there
in view.  de K4VUD/V26V, Charlie.

Perhaps this is true in many mass markets.  If you are trying to sell a new 
brand of laundry soap, you better get exposure.

However, it's been my experience that in niche markets, or extremely vertical 
markets, (like scientific equipment, military hardware, amateur astronomy 
products and amateur radio products) this is pure bunk.

Build a great product, and the few people (compared to mass markets) involved 
in that particular market will beat a path to your door.

I've never seen a Sommer antenna.  Perhaps they are a well kept secret, or 
perhaps they are over priced junk.

It is certainly not the case that every great piece of amateur gear has been 
marketed in the way you suggest.  In fact, the reverse is true.  For example, 
I doubt Bird Electronics ever "had" to give away a ton of watt meters to 
establish themselves as a reference for that line of product.

Same for many, many others.

I applaud your effort to get a free antenna.  Nice try.

I applaud any contest station that can actually talk a company into letting 
them have free equipment.  I seriously doubt that these cases actually 
contribute anything to the company's bottom line though.  I'm sure the 
companies realize this.  You're not fooling anyone.  Good PR, maybe.  
Profitable, I think not.

Best Regards,
Joe Spinosa
Concord, CA

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