In a world of rising D2C sales, Dragon’s all inclusive 4-day shred prize to Dragon Lodge in Tignes for two lucky bricks and mortar retailers is an initiative right up SOURCE’s street. This offline-only sales incentive runs throughout January and February in the UK where Dragon reward their two best goggle selling doors with an all expenses paid trip to the Dragon affiliated Dragon Lodge in Tignes, France. For 2019 the lucky winners were Sarah Martin from TSA Leeds and Keiran Hammond from TSA Milton Keynes. Words & Images by SOURCE Editor, Harry Mitchell Thompson.
Going for over 10 years now, the #DragonRetailerWeek gives two lucky (but hard working) retailers a truly unique brand experience. “It’s four days of shredding Tignes with the Dragon family,” says European Marketing & Team Manager, Sam Nelson. A family which includes John Bassett and Will Hughes (Dragon Lodge operators), local team riders James Sweet and Dragon backcountry ambassador Neil McNair.
Incidentally, the affiliation between eyewear brand Dragon and snowboarder haven, Dragon Lodge is long standing, but coincidental on the naming front. Dragon Lodge Snowboarding has been operational in the Espace Killy for 20+ years and its name is an ode to founding brothers John & Owain’s Welsh heritage, the connection to Dragon Alliance came later.
More on the sales incentive. Rewind to earlier in the season and as product arrives in store in Autumn, Marketing Manager Sam takes to the road in the UK for a staff training tour where he updates, in person, key retailers with product and brand updates to provide sellers with key sales stories, techniques and info. Comp winner Keiran from TSA MK says, “as well as having experience using the product, the training Sam did with us earlier this season really resonated and helped me promote the product to the max. Product knowledge and personal experience make it super easy to sell to customers.”
And if product knowledge and a decent product to sell weren’t sales incentive enough, an all inclusive four day shred holiday to Tignes definitely dangles a carrot. “Word gets out amongst the staff,” Sam says, continuing “especially on their return from the Retailer Week and demonstrates that we know how to have a good time and put on a Dragon experience which everyone strives to be part of. It’s great to get to know the staff better and see how much they value the brand and what we do. The Dragon Lodge in Tignes is our go-to spot, a very welcoming chalet who we’ve been associated with for over 15 years, in the snow sure resort of Tignes. It helps that we also have an abundance of Dragon ambassadors in that area to draw from and complete the Dragon experience, tips from instructor James Sweet, plus Backcountry coaching and exploring with Neil McNair.”
And shred we did. Arriving in resort to moderate snowfall and greeted the next morning with blue skies and a mild Guinness hangover set the tone for the following two days burning through Tignes’ pistes with the occasional foray into the resort’s renowned side country for some turns and face shots. Riding Tignes (and Val d’Isere) with the Dragon Lodge crew and hitting up resort favourites Tignes Cuisine for lunch, Loop Bar & The Marmot Arms for après and the sublime La Queue de Cochon for dinner delivered the full Tignes experience. SOURCE had to leave the trip a day early, but #DragonRetailerWeek climaxed down the valley in the quieter resort of Saint-Foy for a day of Neil McNair-led backcountry shred.
Safe to say the incentive winners had a truly immersive brand experience. Ellis Brigham (TSA parent Co) Merchandiser & Buyer, Luke Watkins is strongly behind #DragonRetailerWeek, saying it “emphasises the importance of understanding the brand and getting it across to staff.”
Looking to the future, Dragon’s Sam Nelson has bigger and better plans for the project: “We’re constantly looking for ways to improve it, and hopefully we’ll roll this activation out to more European territories over the coming years.”