Even if you're not a car geek, odds are you've heard of Barrett-Jackson. Their eponymous auctions are the best known in the collector car world, with their flagship Scottsdale auction chewing up 36 hours of live Fox Sports TV this January. Their auctions feature multi-million dollar muscle cars alongside '81 Cadillac Sevilles. Something for everyone.
So you'd be forgiven for assuming that since Barrett-Jackson has access to the most sought-after versions of a product that can make grown men drool, you would find the brand all over the web, everywhere car guys and gals congregate. But you don't.
Their website is all about the auctions, which is understandable as that's the revenue source. But come on, just a handful of owner-submitted pics of upcoming cars? A membership section is a great idea, but again, it's simply a vehicle (heh) for pushing the auctions.
So, nothing wrong with pushing the auctions, but imagine how easy it would be to generate content that not only builds interest in the auctions but also brings new customers to the brand. Videos, books and blogs about restoring cars. A Barrett-Jackson host that shoots a video for YouTube each week with rare or interesting cars and their owners, sharing the car's origin story, showing the owner's love for the vehicle, testing the car's valet-parking status. A series of e-books on detailing a car (partner with Griot's Garage for this one). These are marketing vehicles that can also generate revenue.
If in-house video seems daunting, partner with Motor Trend (who does YouTube right) to do a regular show on classic car hunts, restoring or detailing. Brand the hell out of it. (Guess what's on Barrett-Jackson's YouTube channel. Yep, 30-second videos for just a few to-be-auctioned cars. They've done a few non-auction videos but they're now four years old!)
Go check out their Twitter feed. Nothing but auction hype. Again, I'm advocating building on this, not replacing it. Barrett-Jackson should be THE source for classic car knowledge, answers and help on Twitter: help people find rare parts, answer auction prep questions, get involved in restoration conversations. They should also be scheduling Meetups at restoration shops, having contests for guess-the-most-likely-future-collector car, sponsoring auto podcasts. These are all inexpensive, easily implemented tactics.
Car guys and gals are the most passionate people on the planet and Barrett-Jackson is the preeminent brand in collector car auctions. It's time for Barrett-Jackson to recognize--and leverage--the power of their brand.